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Greener Pastures: 1936

Greener Pastures: 1936

July 1936. "Drought refugees. North Dakota farm family moving to Idaho at port of entry near Miles City, Montana." Medium-format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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The little girl

The look on that girl with her arm up shading the sun from her face is haunting.
The vehicle and environment look so rough and unforgiving. I truly hope this family made it ok.

1923 Maxwell Touring

I believe that the car started as a 1923 Maxwell Touring Car. The running board apron with the raised border and the step plates along with the headlight shape lean toward a 1923. The 1924-25 Maxwell tourings had a different windshield mounts.

By June of 1925 Chrysler had ceased production of the Maxwell and had transformed this model into a Chrysler B series. Basically a rebadged Maxwell.

Port of entry?

What qualifies as a "port of entry" in the middle of Montana? (Side note, I spent the evening in Miles City during a road trip last year. It's the tenth-largest city in the state with a mere 8,400 people.)

Maxwell Mystery

I'm trying to figure out the make of the car prior to it becoming a truck, based upon the M on the hubcap; several possibilities from the 1920s are Moon, Marmon, Marquette and Maxwell. In numbers, far more Maxwells were made than of the other choices. It surely never was a Mercedes or Minerva, and Mercury didn't begin production until later in the 1930s.

[It's a circa 1925 Maxwell touring car. - Dave]


A case of Hershey's chocolate, a case of Post Toasties and a copper laundry boiler. What else do you need?


Forget your present day interpretation of the the word, THESE were the true personification of the term.

Maybe they're my neighbors now

I hope this family was able to make it in Idaho. They might have descendants living just north of me.

The spitting image

of Henry Fonda in Grapes of Wrath, or vice versa.

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