SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Plucky: 1936

Plucky: 1936

December 1936. "Wife of owner-operator and wife of hired hand cleaning chickens in cellar preparatory to canning them. Chickens at this time of year are bringing six cents per pound. These are for roasting. Harry Madsen farm, near Dickens, Iowa. 360 acres, owner operated." Medium format nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

This could be grandma and me!

Looking at this picture brings back memories of my youth. When I was about 14 I was spending the summer with my grandparents on a farm in Nebraska. One day my grandmother told me that we were going to dress chickens for dinner. When I told her I didn't know how, she was shocked that my mother had not taught me. She said, "well by the end of today you will be very good at it." I was, and very proud of myself, I might add!


I'm surprised at how many of the housewives from this period look like my mother and other relatives. It must be the clothing they wore and maybe their body language.


I've never plucked a chicken, but I've certainly eaten many over my lifetime. Like most folks, I'd bet I'd eat a LOT less if I had to do what it took to get the chicken into the pot.

(Maybe that's why my grandmother and great-aunt were only sent to the yard to wring necks once a week...and why she could work wonders in the kitchen with very little meat...a hambone in the pot of pinto beans, a little bacon grease in her potato salad, etc.!)

Thanks for the reminder that chicken doesn't come from cellophane packages in the grocery store! (Oh, and if you haven't read Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma," named one of the Ten Best Science Books of the Year by the NYTimes, you're missing something. His experiences on Polyface Farm were enlightening!)


It's been less than 100 years and most of us no longer know how to live this way. The march of progress, I guess...

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.