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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 • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

The Unknown Bureaucrat: 1936

The Unknown Bureaucrat: 1936

December 1936. This formidable-looking lady either had something to do with the Resettlement Administration's creation of Greenhills, Ohio, one of the first planned communities in the United States, or she was tragically misfiled at the Library of Congress. Either way, her caption has no name. View full size. Medium format negative by Brice Martin. [Update: The mystery lady is Dorothy M. Beck, a regional director of the Resettlement Administration.]

 

No Money, Ten Children: 1937

No Money, Ten Children: 1937

March 1937. Stalled in the Southern California desert. "No money, ten children. From Chickasaw, Oklahoma." View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

 

Imperial Valley: 1937

Imperial Valley: 1937

Imperial Valley, California, March 1937. "One of a Mexican field gang of migratory laborers thinning and weeding cantaloupe plants. The young plants are capped with waxed paper spread over a wire wicket to protect against cold and accelerate growth. The laborers' wages are 30 cents an hour." View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the FSA.

 

River of Fire: 1941

River of Fire: 1941

November 1941. "Slag runoff from one of the open-hearth furnaces at Republic Steel in Youngstown, Ohio. Slag is drawn off the furnace just before the molten steel is poured into ladles for ingotting." View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information.

 

The Searchers: 1937

The Searchers: 1937

March 1937. "Unemployed family from the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, camped on a river bottom near Holtville, California." View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

 

Tires and You: 1942

Tires and You: 1942

Summer 1942. "Good citizenship and plain common sense. This man is performing a duty every car owner owes to himself and to our fighting men. In having his car adjusted to prevent excessive tire wear -- and in observing the simple rules that make tires last longer -- he is making a valuable contribution to our war effort. The man who wastes rubber is a poor citizen and blind even to his own personal interests." View full size. From photos by Martha McMillan Roberts, Howard Hollem, Albert Freeman and Howard Liberman for the Office of War Information.

 

Cold Comfort: 1938

Cold Comfort: 1938

New York, summer 1938. "Street vendor of shaved ices." View full size. Medium format nitrate negative by Jack Allison for the Farm Security Administration.

 
 
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