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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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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.

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Farmed on thirds and fourths


"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]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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