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CBC News discovers and tells the charming story behind a 1939 Nat Geo photograph

Vintage family photographs are among the most interesting pictures ever taken, but very few turn out with a charming story to tell. A researcher for a news network in Canada got intrigued with a photo of seven siblings in Quebec taken for National Geographic in 1939, and sought out the story behind the touching snap. Find out after the jump!

“Seven little sit-down strikers bask in the sun on a Split rail fence … These brothers and sisters — Rita, Ligette, Françoise, Vital, Colombe, Marc and Germaine ​— are supposed to be driving the cows home for evening milking. Printing on Germaine’s dress indicates the cloth once served as a sugar or flour sack. Behind the young herders, mountains enclosing L’Anse St-Jean slope away to the Saguenay.” Photo by Howell Walker, published on National Geographic Magazine for a May 1939 story entitled “Gentle Folk Settle Stern Saguenay.”

The heartwarming photograph above, showing seven siblings sitting on a wooden fence in Quebec, Canada, was taken by Harrison Howell Walker for the 1939 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Decades later, it was shared in National Geographic’s Found Tumblr Page, piquing the interest of its many followers and readers, including CBC radio producer and researcher Julia Caron.

Caron got in touch with Janna Dotschkal, assistant photo editor for the National Geographic Magazine and one of the folks manning the Found Tumblr Page. They shared Walker’s photo to obtain any present-day information about the seven siblings. Ketsia Houde, the granddaughter of the little boy (second from the right) in the photo above, sent Dotschkal an e-mail and told the story behind it along with Caron in the CBC radio feature below:


All information for this article were sourced from National Geographic Proof and CBC News.

written by plasticpopsicle

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