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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Valley Boy: 1939

Valley Boy: 1939

August 1939. Migratory boy in squatter camp. Has come to Yakima Valley, Washington, for the third year to pick hops. Mother: "You'd be surprised what that boy can pick." View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

 

Yakima

Having grown up in Yakima, I can tell you this picture could have been taken 2 years ago ... you couldn't tell the difference!

Dorothea Lange

DL bores right into her subjects and trips the shutter at the perfect moment to capture the despair and grinding hopelessness found among many who endured the Depression. But at the same time, amazingly, she also manages to capture the set of the subject's jaw or the look in their eye that says "just you wait, we're a great nation, we'll be back" attitude they seemed to possess.

Amazing and astonishing, indeed. Thank you.

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

Dorothea Lange = stupefying

Dorothea Lange = stupefying

Holy Cow - awesome capture

This image strikes like few others. It's right up there with the other touchstone images from Depression.

The innocence of youth tinged with the questioning of why life has to be so hard.

I would LOVE to know what this child was thnking when the picture was taken and what kind of life he ended up living.

 
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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