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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

On the Road: 1939

On the Road: 1939

February 1939. Calipatria, Imperial Valley. Car on siding across tracks from pea packing plant. Twenty-five year old itinerant, originally from Oregon. "On the road eight years, all over the country, every state in the union, back and forth, pick up a job here and there, traveling all the time." View full size. Medium format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

 

Fruit tramps

My dad who died last year at 99 traveled this way from time to time chasing the fruit harvest. They called themselves "fruit tramps" and worked all over the West.

Illusion of civility

Riding the rails was very much illegal and dangerous in many ways. My grandfather, who was a brakeman on the Southern RR in the 1930s, had a co-worker who was killed by a desperate rider who thought he was going to be kicked off the train. After that, Granddad carried a revolver in his overalls (against all company rules, of course) until times got safer after World War II.

Travelin' Man

I thought this picture captured the image of men in the 1930s. Thanks for posting these awesome pictures. Helped me out a ton.

Riding the Rails

I didn't get "sadness" from this one, unlike some of the of the other photos . . . . I see a train with no grafitti and a time when you could still ride the rails . . . . I love reading the different perceptions from people, as I said in a prior post, we see what we see.

Travelin' man

saddest picture I've seen in along while

Travelin' Man

No doubt he had many interesting stories to tell his grandchildren.

 
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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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