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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Gypsy Life: 1936

Gypsy Life: 1936

July 1936. "Child of migratory fruit workers from Missouri in Yakima, Washington." What will become of her? Medium-format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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Just looking at her demeanor in this picture, she's looking directly at the camera, not trying to hide or turn away, I get the feeling that she's going to be OK.
Hopefully, in about 4 years, her family should have been able to escape the Depression and softened their hardscrabble existence. I guess we'll never know.

If there was a dinner bell

It'd probably be near to ringing. Looks to be about noon. A bucket of water will be put on the ground under that towel on the right corner of the truck so the workers can wash up a bit, and after the non-perishables are uncovered over there on the table, everyone'll grab a seat and have some grub. The little girl will make sure the water pitcher is full and ready. There won't be any ice, but the spring the water comes from delivers it cool and pure. Afterwards, the workers will enjoy a smoke and then it's back out under the July sun. The little girl will climb back up where we see her, and this moment will be preserved into the 21st Century.

What will become of her?

Unless Arthur Rothstein recorded her name we'll probably never know. My guess is she grew up, got a job in a war plant or maybe as a government girl in DC, then got married and raised a mess o' boomers. Sweet looking kid. I hope she had a happy life.


My mother always threatened to sell me to the Gypsies if I didn't straighten out, but I guess they wouldn't take me.

SHORPY OLD 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.

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