A Picture Worth a Thousand Words: 4 Children For Sale

A Vintage Nerd, A Picture Worth a Thousand Words, 4 Children For Sale Photo, Vintage Photos, Vintage Blog

Have you ever seen an old photo and wondered what happened to the people in it? Did they live a full life? Were they happy?

In this new series I will spotlight famous and well known photos and art and share with you my findings on where the people are now or who the people in the photo or painting may be.

There is one photo I have seen over and over again in the past few years and I thought it was time to find out about the people in them. Of course I had no clue whether or not I would find out anything about them but I needed to try.

Luckily we now live in an age of information and google is like my bff. It's my go-to search engine and it didn't fail me this time.

First, let me share the photo:

A Vintage Nerd, A Picture Worth a Thousand Words, 4 Children For Sale Photo, Vintage Photos, Vintage Blog

My first reaction to this photo is that it was staged or that it had to be make believe. Then I had to wake myself up and remind myself that children get bought and sold everyday. A true horror in our world. To sell a precious child that should be nurtured and loved.

I normally don't speak of such horrible things on my blog but I had to know who those children were and I am sharing with you now that I found out. And this photo is real. The children were sold.

The photo was taken in 1948. The parents were Ray and Lucille Chalifoux. There children were Lana (6), Ray (5), Milton (4), and Sue Ellen (2). Lucille was also pregnant at the time of the photo. It is claimed that they couldn't afford to keep their children. I say claimed. Relatives to these children said that the mother did not sell them. Some say she needed bingo money. Either way when the story of their lives came full circle and the surviving siblings found each other they also found no love and no remorse from their birth mother, Lucille. She did indeed sell them. And not all the children had loving parents. Their lives sound like they came out of a horror story and I won't repeat some of those findings here on my post because as a mother, really as a person. I find them sickening to repeat.

But if you would like to learn more about the children in 4 Children For Sale, please click HERE and read on.

I think the worst part of my discovery was finding out that this photo was authentic. What we don't know and will never know is if those parents had no other choice. I can tell you that the mother remarried later on and had four more children. She kept those children. My mind started spinning when I read that.

Are there photos that speak a thousand words to you? What photos would you like to see in this series? How did you feel after you saw this photo? Have you seen it before?

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  1. Oh, I really wish I hadn't clicked that link. I think this is a great idea for a blog series, but I'm sure hoping the next one is a bit more cheerful. I'm aware that not all of our history is positive, in fact a lot of it isn't. However, there have got to be some amazingly positive stories out there as well.

    She Knits in Pearls

  2. Oh what a very sad story. I feel so terrible for those children and the burden they had to carry all that horrible abuse. It is a shame that this picture couldn't have brought a positive outcome to their lives. They all say the same thing the mother offered no apologies... very sad!

  3. It's a sad story but I feel all stories should be told. The more you learn about the good and the bad the more you can do to prevent bad from happening. Most iconic photos aren't jolly happy ones unfortunately but they are powerful ones. I do hope everyone does enjoy this new series. xox

  4. Thank you for sharing this. It's such a tragic story, but I agree - we can't white wash the past. It's important to look at it honestly and objectively, and not ignore the really terrible things that happened. That's not to say that this sort of thing doesn't still happen, at least here in the US, but it's definitely less common, and far less likely to happen openly.

  5. I too have seen this unnerving photo numerous times over the years and wondered about the truth behind it. It rattles me to my core to know that it wasn't staged or an exaggeration, but that in fact, the poor children were sold. Dear goodness, how inconceivably horrible for all of them. Thank you for shining the spotlight on this story and reminding us that there is always more to a photo than just what we see in that one single frame.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. anatomische Bilder

    1. Oh you are so kind. Thank you for reading it! xox


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