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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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Self-Contained: 1939

Self-Contained: 1939

March 1939. "Home of fisherman squatter on shores of Nueces Bay. Corpus Christi, Texas. Photographs show squatters and migrants in shanty town along Nueces Bay area. Tents, shelters constructed from old boats, tar paper, automobile licenses, boxes. Privy made of automobile body." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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One thing I remember during the depression is foraging for extra food. We'd pick dandelions to be had for greens. Not too bad, as I remember. My dad had no job til about 1939, so we lived a while with my grandmother, and later out west on my aunt and uncles ranch. At least we wern't relegated to a shack. I don't recall feeling deprived. Most people were in the same boat.


There has never ever been a building or a place around fishing that didn’t have a cat or two. And these people, though poor, at least kept the area around their shack swept and picked up.

[There's also a big dog. - Dave]

It was worse than we know

My father (1907-1983) often said that I or my children could never imagine the hunger, squalor and hopelessness of the Great Depression.

Kitten finds fantasy living arrangement

That cat on the doorstep must know that he will have fish and seafood aplenty as long as he sticks around with fishermen squatters and he is not planning to leave this location. How lucky can one cat get?

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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