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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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Pork-Bowel Politics: 1939

Pork-Bowel Politics: 1939

September 1939. "Iowa state capitol, Des Moines." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Don't Risk My Rath

Rath Packing Company was one of the largest meatpacking companies in the country in 1939, with facilities in 12 states. According to Wikipedia, the company's business declined for decades, then shut down in 1985. The Rath's Black Hawk Bacon brand is back though, another meatpacker owns the name and it is sold in your friendly neighborhood Walmart and on Amazon. Too bad it's not delivered in that gorgeous Rath's panel truck anymore.

True Grit

Kozel's comment that much has changed is certainly true. But it isn't nearly as interesting or telling with the homogenized autos and trucks, the sterile open space or the buildings that could be anything.

The original photo has "grit," and I like it much more with building signage, yellow stop sign with reflectors and weeds.

Much has changed

But the capitol remains.

Yellow Stop Signs

I haven't seen a yellow stop sign in years. They used to be all over.

SHORPY OLD 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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