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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 • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

A New Beginning: 1939

A New Beginning: 1939

October 1939. "Ex-Nebraska farmer now developing farm out of the stumps. Bonner County, Idaho." View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

 

Many Hats

My grandfather wore a similar style hat all the time. He was an Alabama cotton farmer (Jefferson County) who would still use mules to plow the fields. Hats served as a shade from the hot summer sun, a temporary water holder for giving the mules a drink, and when thoroughly soaked in water, the hat would keep your head cool as the water evaporated. Usually farm folks had two or three different hats -- a work hat, a "meeting hat" for when you went to town, and a dress hat for church. Same story with shoes too as I remember it.

If hats were still popular

Wouldn't it be great if hats were worn for more than just style today? I'd wear a hat like this. With all the talk of skin cancer, I'd like to see them become more than a fashion statement. Of, course, I don't think I could ever look as great as this gentleman. I'd bet he was a pleasure to talk to.

The hat

My grandfather wore a similar style hat all the time. He was an Alabama cotton farmer (Jefferson County) who would still use mules to plow the fields. Hats served as a shade from the hot summer sun, a temporary water holder for giving the mules a drink, and when thoroughly soaked in water, the hat would keep your head cool as the water evaporated. Usually farm folks had two or three different hats...a work hat, a meeting hat when you went to town, and a dress hat for church. Same story with shoes too as I remember it.

If I Had a Pony

Lyle Lovett's grandpa, possibly?

Urban Cowboys take note

This is why NONE of you should wear your "cowboy" hats or anything else that takes your fancy from J Peterman's. Do you see how this man looks, how right that hat fits him in every way? On you it has the exact opposite effect. I'm begging you, put the hat down and just walk away.

In a word...

Rockwellian.

[Or Grant Woodian. - Dave]

Mr. Farmer

That's what you call your iconic American face.

A perfect character study...

Sheer timeless quality.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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