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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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Tulare: 1940

Tulare: 1940

March 1940. Visalia, California. Band playing a Saturday night dance at the Farm Security Administration's Tulare migrant camp. View full size. Medium format safety negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The cat for tips

This is very late to the party but the cat was as has been said for tips. I've seen similar setups before and one instance while researching answered a question for me about a venue Elvis played early on in Gladewater, TX. See this.

Saturday night dudes.

In the colorized version of this photo, I love the green jacket on the boy in back. It just rings true. The black cat is hilarious. I can just hear these guys. They're certainly focused. You hit the apex boys, now bring 'er on home.

D Major Dude

Don't know the song but I do know what the guitarist is playing -- a D Major chord on what looks like an LG-2 Gibson.

Feed the Kitty

Yes, my guess would be that's how they got their tips ... by people feeding the kitty.


That appears to be an RCA 74B "Velocity Jr." ribbon microphone. A ubiquitous PA microphone of above average quality at the time. They are pretty, but have little use today because of their limited bandwidth.

What is the cat holding?

[Their kitty has a cigar-box body, partly visible through the mouth. - Dave]

The Band

Wonder what song they are playing? Also, the black cat--I first thought it was a Halloween dance until I saw the date. Maybe the group was an early prototype of the Stray Cats!

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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