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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hoe Culture: 1936

Hoe Culture: 1936

July 1936. "Hoe culture in the South. Poor white, North Carolina." Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

"hoe boy"

It has been speculated the the term 'Hobo' came from a phrase used by farm bosses looking for day laborers along rail centers. These areas were of course, gathering places for the itinerant travelers who were largely male and out of work poor during the Depresion. These farm bosses would shout out, " Hoe Boys ! Hoe Boys wanted..." Hence the the slang term (eventually) to Hobo.

When you think about it

The fact that there seem to be NO machinery involved in this type of farming, that it was pretty much done all through physical labor shows how far removed we are from whats really involved in putting food on the table.

He has a future

He has a better future if he can survive the horrific trials of the next ten years.

Speaking of Hoes and Culture

The caption reminds me of a Dorothy Parker quote. When asked to use the word "horticulture" in a sentence, she allegedly replied, "You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think."

Patching the patches

Some of the most expensive jeans on the market today are worn, torn and faded, often seen being worn by millionaire celebs on TV appearances. I wonder how much this boy's overalls would bring in todays shabby chic market. And secondly, behold the few visible corn plants managing to hang on in this parched, lumpy, clay dust passing for soil.

Even the patches

have patches.

He's waiting

For Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion to show up.

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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