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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Migrant Father: 1939

Migrant Father: 1939

October 1939. "He brought his family to the West in a homemade trailer from Texas five months ago. Photograph made after supper. Boy sick. Father has work now in potato field. Merrill, Klamath County, Oregon. In mobile unit, FSA camp." Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Tobacco Tag

That tag hanging out of the Dad's pocket is from a smoking tobacco pouch. Don't judge him too harshly, because smoking was cheaper before the heavy taxes were placed on tobacco.

Also visible in his pocket is a box of Luden's Cough Drops. The formula has probably changed since this photo was made, so it's difficult to comment on whether they were more- or less-effective back then.

I wonder if the boy went on to be enlisted in World War Two?


Thank you for this photo, Dave (and Dorothea Lange). Whenever I'm tempted to think my crappy little problems have some consequence, photos like this one always set me straight.

Happy Father's Day to all the Shorpy dads out there. And to all our dads who have passed on, we remember you with love and gratitude.

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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