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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

High Desert: 1943

High Desert: 1943

Sagebrush and mountains in northern New Mexico, 1943. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by John Collier.

 

Oh, Fair New Mexico

I was born and raised in New Mexico, and yep, that's pretty much what it looks like. I would guess that if you found Collier's tripod marks and retook this picture, the scene would be pretty much the same today as it was in 1943.

I have a poster consisting of photographs of the Santa Fe Canyon in 1922 and 1982. The big difference is that there are so many more trees...in 1982. Wood was the main source of fuel back then, so there was a constant brown cloud over the larger towns, especially during the winter. In addition, most of the roads were not paved, so every passing vehicle kicked dust into the air as well. Fortunately, there weren't a lot of cars back then. Of course, there were horses, mules and oxen, which also kicked up a lot of dust and created their own special pollution.

I doubt that many would trade the sealed, vented and sodded sanitary landfills of today for the loathsome middens of a hundred years ago. Thanks, Dave, for bringing some much-needed perspective.

"looks do not always reveal the truth"

Your opinon is appreciated and accepted ---- mine is, the earth today is not the same as it was in 1943 anymore than it was the same in 1843 or before that ---- today, when I travel between here and say, Milwaukee or beyond, I see "hills" along the highway that were never there before, "hills" of garbage covered with a make-up of sod with tell tale venting pipes from a "throw-away" society ---- when one puts out or "throw" their garbage away, one never throws it away, it is only out their sight....PS: you have a good eye, nice photo, don't forget tho to renew your license plate....

[There is a license plate. Look harder. - Dave]

Beautiful!

Awesome, a great photo of a great vista ---- no jet plane air streams to mar the sky ---- it was a time when the earth was good yet....

[I go out there every year. "The earth" of 2007 looks pretty much exactly the same the earth of 1943, except for all the soot in the air back then. - Dave]

 
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