SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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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Imperial Valley: 1937

Imperial Valley: 1937

March 1937. Migratory Mexican field worker's home next to pea field. Imperial Valley, California. View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

On Shorpy:
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Migrant Workers

I'll second the comment that this is a scene that you can still see today.

The car will be different. The looks on the faces can be the same. There are shacks, still to this day.

The children attend school only sporadically as they migrate with the location of the crops and different picking seasons. It's still a very, very hard life for them.

Imperial Valley

Today, if you drive the back roads of Imperial and Coachella Valleys, you will see dilapidated trailers and homes that do not look too much improved from this scene.

That little girl peeking out

That little girl peeking out is the real star of this shot. The dark doorway draws you in, and the sweet face child keeps you there. Dorothea had such and eye for composition.

Thanks, Shorpy, for introducing me to her.

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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