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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • AUSTRALIA TRAVEL, c. 1930

Low Noon: 1936

Low Noon: 1936

March 1936. "Heavy black clouds of dust rising over the Texas Panhandle." 35mm nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the FSA. View full size.

 

Dust Bowl

We lived in Arkansas on the river across from Oklahoma and even though Texas and Oklahoma were the worst hit, my folks got plenty of the dust. It certainly gave us backbone for years to come. This generation shouldn't wonder why great and great-great grandparents died so young. They worked themselves to death way too early. It would be hard to visualize today's teenager cleaning up the mess with a straw broom, bar of lye soap, and old rags.

Dust Storms

This photo brings back memories. Our schoolhouse in Tulia, Texas, had no electric lights (or indoor plumbing), so we were dismissed when a duster rolled into town and made everything as dark as night. To avoid breathing the dust, we tied handkerchiefs over our noses while walking home from school. The storms left a coating of dust about a quarter of an inch deep on everything inside our closed-up houses. The cleanup afterward was quite a chore. Gene Howe, a writer for the Amarillo Globe News, claimed that the dust storms were healthy and invigorating and maybe he was right. The dust storms and the effects of the Depression left us with backbone to spare. I don't recall anybody in those days complaining about how tough times were as opposed to all the whining heard in today's America.

 
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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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