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About the Photos

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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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.


$4.44 an hour

That's about what migrant workers make now.

Thirty Cents an Hour

30 cents an hour is around $4.44 an hour by 2007 standards.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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