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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

On the Road: 1936

On the Road: 1936

June 1938. Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. "Family walking on highway, five children. Started from Idabel, bound for Krebs. In 1936 the father farmed on thirds and fourths at Eagleton, McCurtain County. Was taken sick with pneumonia and lost farm. Was refused relief in county of 15 years' residence because of temporary residence elsewhere." Photo by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

 

Farmed on thirds and fourths

from http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/t/te009.html

"In the usual arrangement with share tenants in Oklahoma, the landlord received one-third of the grain crop and one-fourth of the cotton produced. The tenant had to provide most of the equipment, animals, and furnish. Realistically, farming forty or fifty acres on this basis was a prescription for poverty, especially when cotton prices plunged. "

Idabel to Krebs is no easy hike. I would like to think and hope that they got a lift here and there along the way. If they've made it to Pittsburg County, they're almost to their destination. They could just about smell the barn as the saying goes.

Black thing on road...

4" x 5" film came in cut sheets, loaded individually and in film packs that held 8 exposures. The black thing looks like the first "pull" from a film pack that then uncovers the film for exposure.

What is...

First, this is a tremendous photo.

Second, what is that black thing on the road the baby is looking at? A film holder?

[I wondered that myself. Looks a little like the monolith from "2001." - Dave]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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