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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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Shacktown: 1940

Shacktown: 1940

April 1940. Shacktown in Dubuque, Iowa. Many residents keep a cow or a few chickens. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the FSA.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Little Girl is Beautiful

The little girl is just beautiful ~ the wind blowing her dress and her little striped socks. Mom standing behind her looks lovely, too. I hope she had a good life and was happy. I don't know why this makes me so sad, though. Wish I knew more about her.

Shacktown residents?

My grandmother talked about a "slabtown" that opened near a mine in rural Virginia. It was called "slabtown" because it was built out of slabs, the cheapest kind of lumber that came from the sawmill, and its residents were prostitutes.

I wonder if this is the same kind of low-rent red light district.

Re: Shacktown IDs

No names in the caption info. Actually there was no caption at all for this one. I got it from a nearby frame.

Shacktown: 1940

Does anyone know if the people in this, and in other Dubuque photos by John Vachon, were identified by the photographer? If he did identify them, where can I find out who they were?

They took my chair!

I have a chair that looks exactly like that one, except there's a part you can sit on. I knew it was old, but now I have an idea as to how.

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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