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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Walked Eight Miles: 1940

Walked Eight Miles: 1940

June 1940. Pie Town, New Mexico. Wife of a homesteader with her WPA (Work Projects Administration) music class. These children walk eight miles for their music lessons. View full size. Medium-format safety negative by Russell Lee.

 

Kudos all around

While I commend the dedication of these future music greats, remember, it is the home environment and the perseverance of the extended family that ultimately motivated these youngsters to sacrifice for their art. How many of our modern youth would walk several miles for anything? I'm sure there are many, but, overall, we have inherited a way of life that, thankfully, no longer requires that kind of exhausting dedication.

Walking 8 miles

I can't get my grandsons to walk 8 feet!

But if you had to carry it

If you walk eight miles to play music, you deserve something better than an accordion.

But if you had to carry it for eight miles I wouldn't want anything bigger than an accordion.

[I wonder whose turn it was to carry the piano. - Dave]

Pie Town Kids

This image (like so many here) is enormously evocative. The timer, the foot rest and evidence of recent toil on the clothes and bodies of the boys are among a few after just a few seconds viewing.

Can we relate?

That is why we look here. I have been a loyal Plan59 (EphemeraNow) Shorpy.com visitor/customer for the better part of 10 years. The stunning restoration of some of these scans takes a moment years ago and makes it immediate, right now. I feel like I am the first person to view a newly developed slide the day it was captured.

Important work to be sure.

Foy

All that effort on the part

All that effort on the part of all parties just to bring a little civilization to the wilds of New Mexico.

What is astounding is just how much things have changed in a single generation. The experiences of these people pictured are so removed from our own, I wonder how many of us can even pretend to relate.

Seems unfair

If you walk eight miles to play music, you deserve something better than an accordion.

Pie Town

It appears that the windows are above ground, no dugout here.

Ouch

All with bare feet? That's definitely dedication.

 
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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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