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Hard Times: 1937

Hard Times: 1937

March 1937. Scott's Run, West Virginia. "Johnson family -- father unemployed." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


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I find this to be quite a beautiful and powerful photo. It has good composition, and many details that enhance the subject. The tattered clothes, the worn shoes (patched with rags), the runs in the stockings, the old beadboard walls with newspaper pasted on for additional insulation, the crack in the stove, a missing door knob, a broom that has been so worn that hardly any bristles remain, etc.

You can tell that they're not overly dirty, though, (aside from the threadbare clothes). The two women have nicely braided hair, clean faces/hands, and the boy appears to have a half decent pair of shoes and a nice coat/jacket.

It makes you appreciate what we take for granted today.

I know where that stove ended up

Atomic Heat

Nuclear powered stoves in 1937. Who'd a thunk it?

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