One of those photos…

… that gets shared around and around and around with nary an attribution. I looked, and was not able to find anything credible; two friends with greater Google-fu than I were able to identify a source, and thanks to them.


Parents Selling Children

Original caption: August 4, 1948 – Chicago, Illinois: They’re on the auction block. These small children of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Chalifoux of Chicago, Illinois.

For long months 40 year old Ray and his wife, Lucille, 24, waged a desperate but losing battle to keep food in the mouth and a roof over their heads. Now jobless and facing eviction from their near barren flat, the Chalifoux have surrendered to their heart breaking decision. Photo shows mother sobbing as the children pose wonderingly on the steps. Left to right: Lana,6. Rae, 5. Milton, 4. Sue Ellen, 2 years old.

Image: © Bettmann/CORBIS
Date Photographed: August 4, 1948
Location Information: Chicago, Illinois, USA

One wonders at what happened after the photo was taken. Hard times are hard.

[Edit: Many thanks to reader Jen who found a recently-published followup:

Lana (top left) was likely adopted and died of cancer in 1998; RaeAnn (top right) was sold for $2 along with her brother Milton (bottom left) to an abusive family. Sue Ellen (bottom right) was adopted. David, inside mother Lucille Chalifoux’s womb in this picture, was adopted as well. Lucille would have four moure daughters; “She kept them; she didn’t keep us,” David says.

Bittersweet; click through for the full article.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

4 responses to “One of those photos…

  1. Pingback: Turnips and Cabbage | Playing in the World Game

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