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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Uneasy Rider: 1936

Uneasy Rider: 1936

July 1936. "Drought refugees from North Dakota in Montana." The lad last seen here getting a drink. 3¼ x 4¼ negative by Arthur Rothstein. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Make a trailer outta junk for nothin'!

I have my copy of The Grapes of Wrath near to hand, but still can't seem to find the reference to the family who, unable to afford a car, built a trailer out of spare parts, and hitched rides by buying gas for the owner of the tow vehicle (I do recommend reading Chapter 7, a journey inside the mind of a crooked used-car salesman). Steinbeck did several years of research before publishing, and Darryl Zanuck sent private investigators out to make sure Steinbeck was telling the truth before making Grapes into a movie, so I see no reason to doubt it happened.

A kid posing on the tongue of a trailer is no reason to suppose he rode there. I can remember being fascinated by the tongue of the trailer in 1976, and there was a surplus of seats in our Chevrolet Beauville van. We had it good, I know. We still do.

I do remember my uncle some years ago recounting the days of cotton mattresses, which had to be brought out into the sun in the spring to kill the vermin. He's old enough to remember the Depression. Fortunately, our family was well-off enough that they never had to leave East Texas.

Now we know how all those kids fit in the car

I was wondering where the stuff for those seven kids went, seeing as they would fill up the entire back seat of the car.


The old saying goes that you can't tell a book by its cover but that is one onery looking little kid. If a person were able to go by looks only, I would bet you that this young man made it in life. He just looks like "intestinal fortitude" personified.

Come Here

for the photos, stay here for the humor! You're hilarious, Dave!

It could be worse!

This series is most interesting. Thank you.
Most of us never experienced such difficult times and yet part of us know it could happen again.

[It could indeed be worse -- he could be strapped to the roof of the car. - Dave]

Well now we know

how he got a broken arm!

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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