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August 26, 2010

The First Kodak Moment: America Captured in Time

This is just a sample (80 in total) of an amazing group of images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. They are some of the only color photographs taken between 1939 and 1943 of the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations.

The clarity and color of the photos are so amazing, and sometimes it looks like photos that could be from today. But the details in the pictures give away a time, now long lost. And although the people in these photographs look hard, and look like they are going through hard times, there is a sense of pride, hope and belief.

I wonder today, how many of the people in the same circumstances feel, inside.


1 Faro and Doris Caudill, homesteaders. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Homesteaders. My family, on my mother's side comes from homesteaders. They were Homesteaders of arthurdale, West Virginia. Arthurdale, WV, was first known as “The Reedsville Project” by the government employees who were sent there to establish the first New Deal community under the first of three Franklin Delano Roosevelt administrations. I have been there several times, and have sifted through some amazing photos from our family.


Children in the tenement district. Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress




Chopping cotton on rented land near White Plains. White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, June 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress





4 Barker at the grounds at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress




Jack Whinery, homesteader, and his family. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress



The Faro Caudill family eating dinner in their dugout. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.





Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress



M-4 tank crews of the United States. Fort Knox, Kentucky, June 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

View the original article with all 80 photos on the Denver Post Blog:
http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2010/07/26/captured-america-in-color-from-1939-1943/

The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color.

1 comment:

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

These are amazing- I love the children standing outside the tenement- very spooky looking housing.

The family dinner in the dugout is a super cool photo as well-

Did you notice that there is one clean plate as if someone is missing (next to the mom).
Great find- thanks for sharing.