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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

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.

 

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.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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