Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flickr: Jack and Della Mae Smith in Front of the Beer Joint He Operates in Rhodell, West Virginia, near Beckley 06/1974


Jack and Della Mae Smith in Front of the Beer Joint He Operates in Rhodell, West Virginia, near Beckley 06/1974
Originally uploaded by The U.S. National Archives

The Flickr Commons project continues to include images from the history of disability. In this 1974 color photo from the US National Archives, we see Jack Smith with his wife, seated under an "RC" sign. Jack is in a wheelchair. The couple have their arms across each other's shoulders, and Jack seems to be smiling at something Della Mae is saying.

The US National Archives Flickr stream includes other photos of Jack Smith from 1974: alone, holding the family dog, with one of his young daughters, with three of his daughters, with two of his brothers, heading down the street, and working on a union poster. All the photos were taken by photojournalist Jack Corn as part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Documerica project.

Jack Smith was a new coalminer in West Virginia when he lost both legs in a mine cave-in, years before these photos taken. He remained active in union work, and ran a "beer joint" with Della Mae in Rhodell, West Virginia. In the notes attached to one of the photos in the series, it says "During the Strike for Black Lung Benefits His Wife Wheeled Him in Front of a Train to Stop It."


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