Jordan J. Lloyd

April 5, 2021

🇺🇸 Smoking Boy, 1938

Original negative nitrate by John Vachon, colorized by me. Taken July, 1938, Baltimore, United States (Library of Congress)

I originally did this piece way back in something like 2013 when I was just starting out, and another version of it appeared in my first book, The Paper Time Machine. In the years since the book was released, I've learned a great deal more about the process of colorization and so I've taken to slowly remastering my entire back catalogue. Vachon's evocative picture of this young boy smoking was originally a different proportion but decided to crop it square for a colorized print. I used genuine colour slides taken around the same period as reference in the contrasts and colour adjustments for version 3.0 of this brilliant photograph.


Original caption reads, "Young boy in Baltimore slum area. Maryland."

This photograph has been cropped, restored and altered from the original scan.

About Jordan J. Lloyd

British author, visual historian and Creative Director of Unseen Histories, bringing the past to life for The Times, LIFE and Unsplash.