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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Step 1: 1935

Step 1: 1935

August 1935. Prince George's County, Maryland. "One step in artificial insemination." If you like animals, and working with your hands, we have the perfect opening -- apply within. (And, smoking permitted!) 35mm nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

It could be after-the-fact

My dad was a veterinarian and we raised apporximately 100 beef cattle, mostly herefords and angus, along with the new calves that made their appearances each spring. Once a year, we'd get the cattle rounded up and my dad would do this to the heifers. But he was not performing artificial insemination, he was preg-testing them to see which ones were with-calf, and at the same time getting an idea of the size of the fetus, so he could tell how far along they were. Perhaps that's what's going on here? Since I see no equipment related to the insemination process that would be my first guess.

So many comments --

I just can't get a grip on them all.

Caption Contest 2

Hold my beer and watch this.

Properly Equipped

I note a shovel to handle all the BS that goes with the job. We should all be so lucky.

At least they aren't tipping him over

'Cause that would be undignified.

The back-end man does appear to be wearing a just-barely-long-enough glove.

I also just noticed the conveniently placed, non-empty shovel. So not only is the guy a massage therapist, he's also a concierge pooper-scooper.

Why would anyone be required to wear a WHITE uniform for a job like that?

Are those Keds high-tops the older man is wearing?

How did all those dark splatters get on the wall?

34 and counting

Comments I mean. Andy, did you wear the extra, extra long glove at work today?

Hey, Dave!

I also knew what was going on here!

Road Trip

Ooh (or maybe eww). This reminds me of a scene in a really stupid movie I watched with my kids!

Hokey Pokey

Remember the lyrics of that 1940s favorite -- and that's what it's all about, as we suspected.

"Found three watches"

"And not one of 'em mine"

Specially Trained Men


Farmers' Bulletin No. 1412, USDA, 1938.

Care and Management of Dairy Bulls.

Artificial Insemination.

In recent years much interest has developed in the use of artificial insemination for breeding dairy stock. If the proper care and technique are exercised, semen can be collected, kept for several days, and successfully used on cows in the herd or in nearby herds. This should extend the use of a valuable sire to a much greater extent than if natural matings are used. Then, too. many valuable sires, because of age or because they are crippled, are unable to perform natural service, in which event artificial insemination can be practiced.

It has also been demonstrated that semen can be transported by airplane to distant points for artificial insemination. In the laboratory of the Bureau at Beltsville, sperm cells have been kept active from 6 to 11 days in numerous instances and for as long as 21 days in some instances.

Only veterinarians or specially trained men should attempt the collection and preparation of the semen for holding or shipment, and artificial insemination of the cow on receipt of the package. Further information on methods of collecting, storing, and transporting semen from bulls, together with suggestions for impregnating cows, will be sent if a request is addressed to the Bureau of Dairy Industry, Washington, D.C.

My Kudos

Dave, you never cease to amaze me with your knowledge of varyious endeavors. Who else would know what was happening in this picture? I salute you.

[Run a website long enough, and you learn a little about everything. - Dave]

Bob Eubanks asks

"Where's the strangest place you've ever made whoopee?"

And you think your job is bad

I wonder why they don't show the bull's face? I can picture a big smile and crossed eyes and a cigarette. Farmer in back of us says they stick some kind of an electrode up there now and shock him. Kinky!

Oh My!

Fisk-husking!

Hope that pipe wasn't lit

Reminds me of the story in the "Book of Heroic Failures" about the vet who was treating a cow for gastric distress and lit a match in the vicinity of, as the book put it, "the end of the cow not capable of facial expression." The resultant explosion killed the cow and burned down the barn. The police searched for some charge to bring against the vet and finally settled on "setting a fire in a manner surprising to the magistrates." All this in England, as you probably gathered from the quotes.

Did they offer the bull a cigarette afterward?

Just wondering.

All in a day's work

My niece graduated from vet school last year. I asked her about this, and she said you can learn a lot sticking your arm up a horse's or cow's butt. Colic, which is a leading cause of death among horses, is diagnosed and treated this way.

It always reminds me of the many, many scenes in the great British series "All Creatures Great and Small," where Mr. Heriot is rolling up his sleeve, or washing his hands. Vets nowadays have nice little pink shoulder length rubber gloves for the purpose.

And little did we know

that dairy farming would be so difficult.

This reminds me

I need to schedule my annual physical.

For Dave's eyes only

Perhaps I should have looked at the picture more closely. I guess old Studley is getting his timely prostate exam.

[The objects of our pipe-smoker's exertions are the bull's seminal vesicles; the technique is called "manual massage." - Dave]

NO BULL

I don't think old Bessie would appreciate being called a bull by timeandagainphoto. All the bulls I ever saw did the inseminating instead of receiving it.

Bachelor of Science

followed by More of the Same, and Piled Higher and Deeper.

El Toro's thoughts

"Can you believe the NERVE of some people."

"Are these guys looking for romance?"

"I'll give 'em aromatherapy they won't forget."

"They didn't even take me to dinner first."

"Shouldn't this be consensual?"

"Yes officer, I was just standing here minding my own beeswax and contemplating the stock market when these two jokers walked in and -- "

Like leaving his socks on.

Smoking a pipe while up to his elbows in bull is just plain rude.

I'll stick to humans, thank you.

Is this what they mean by "animal husbandry"?

Is this what they mean by

"animal husbandry"?

Moving on ...

Just this once, I think I'll pass on the big, high-res photo.

Why I am not a farmer

Besides the amount of actual work one has to do as a farmer which would probably kill me, I don't understand much of what they do. Take this picture for example. It's a bull. Perhaps I've blocked it, but I don't remember anything remotely like this in the process that resulted in my two kids. Granted, the act photographed is part of an artificial process (although I'm sure the bull would argue that point), but still. Perhaps I could ask my wife. Then again, maybe not.

Was it Carnation

That advertised milk from "contented cows"? Doubtful that Bossy is one of them, despite the stab at suavity with the pipe.

[This bull is no Bossy. - Dave]

Mooon River

That, and other one-liners from "Fletch" come to mind.

Step 2:

Put on a Barry White record.

You're gonna be elbow deep in comments

Sorry, I just had to!

Whoa!

And I thought the Kubrick photo would be a record setter for comments!

I think this one will go where no man has gone before on the comments.

Lovely!

Just what I needed to see before breakfast!

Sense of taste?

I've done it and got to say that putting anything in my mouth at the time would have been the last thing on my mind. That ol' boy must be a hardcore piper.

Always something interesting!

I about fell out of my chair on this one.
Can't wait to read the comments that will be flooding in.

Caption Contest

"Too much information"
"Put that in your pipe and smoke it"

I need this pic to remind me

just how bad my job COULD be.

Ready, set ...

Let the wristwatch jokes begin!

They look bored

This is just another job.

 
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