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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Winter Haven: 1937

Winter Haven: 1937

January 1937. Family of a migratory fruit worker from Tennessee, camped in a field near a citrus packer at Winter Haven, Florida. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration.

 

Migratory Campers

The family looks to be neat, the clothes (what we can see of them) don't seem to be shabby and even the car (again, what we can see of it) almost shines. They don't appear to be the usual down and out migrant workers. The scissors wielder may be the family barber. Is there more to this story?

[More of them here. And here. - Dave]

More Likely

I think it's more likely that the "woman" in the dark dress (holding her hand to her face) is probably the eldest daughter of the family. I'd guess that like the other kids she's standing on the running board of the car. There's no real indication that she's even advanced into puberty (or if she had, is very far down that road). Remember in the days of teenage marriage, when "effective" birth control, particularly for the rural poor, consisted primarily of the rhythm method, coitus interruptus, and prayer, they had them early and often.

My thoughts exactly

Their expressions are so intense, as though they are seeing another human for the first time ever. Inquisitive and guarded.

Two Families?

This looks like two related families--the women in the dark dress looks as old as the one in the light dress and the kids sort of divide up by hair color. Maybe a sister-in-law?

Baby With Scissors!

Not exactly the most kid-friendly toy! I love the look of the little girl on the right. The rest seem so intense.

 
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