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On the Road: 1936

On the Road: 1936

June 1938. Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. "Family walking on highway, five children. Started from Idabel, bound for Krebs. In 1936 the father farmed on thirds and fourths at Eagleton, McCurtain County. Was taken sick with pneumonia and lost farm. Was refused relief in county of 15 years' residence because of temporary residence elsewhere." Photo by Dorothea Lange. View full size.


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Farmed on thirds and fourths


"In the usual arrangement with share tenants in Oklahoma, the landlord received one-third of the grain crop and one-fourth of the cotton produced. The tenant had to provide most of the equipment, animals, and furnish. Realistically, farming forty or fifty acres on this basis was a prescription for poverty, especially when cotton prices plunged. "

Idabel to Krebs is no easy hike. I would like to think and hope that they got a lift here and there along the way. If they've made it to Pittsburg County, they're almost to their destination. They could just about smell the barn as the saying goes.

Black thing on road...

4" x 5" film came in cut sheets, loaded individually and in film packs that held 8 exposures. The black thing looks like the first "pull" from a film pack that then uncovers the film for exposure.

What is...

First, this is a tremendous photo.

Second, what is that black thing on the road the baby is looking at? A film holder?

[I wondered that myself. Looks a little like the monolith from "2001." - Dave]

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