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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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Tuned In: 1941

Tuned In: 1941

June 1941. Family at the "USDA farm family labor camp" in Caldwell, Idaho. View full size. Medium format safety negative by Russell Lee for the FSA.

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When I was 10, the potato farmer next to the labor camp said I could have the potatoes in his field since he could not harvest them due to the freeze. My father was topping and picking beets.

I and a group of kids picked the good potatoes and sold them by the sackful in the labor camp. One week after we started doing that, there was a knock on the door of the room we all lived in (which looked just like this photo).

Mom opened the door. A deputy sheriff was there and a man in a nice black suit. He was from the potato cooperative and told me to knock it off.

That was my first experience of meeting big business.


I think the radio is an Airline 62-177 Tombstone (1935). "Airline" was the brand name for Montgomery Ward's radio line and was second only to Sears' "Silvertone" models in mail-order sales.

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

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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