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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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Doesn't Cotton: 1936

Doesn't Cotton: 1936

May 1936. " 'Damned if we'll work for what they pay folks hereabouts.' Crittenden County, Arkansas. Cotton workers on the road, carrying all they possess in the world." Photo by Carl Mydans, Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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or maybe...

Or maybe the man has a tough job, digging ditches, hauling heavy stuff, toting and heaving? Jobs like that are rough on clothes, and if you are broke sometimes there is not a lot you can do to keep your clothes mended. It takes money (for needles, thread, and even light to mend at night), time, and energy to mend clothes.

In this photo, speaking as a person who has made her own clothes, it looks like both of them are equally dressed. Not fancy, not brand new, but clean and together.

I hope they made out ok.

Ladies First!

One thing I've noticed in these photos is that regardless of their poverty level, the ladies almost ALWAYS look better; meaning.. their clothes are cleaner, neater etc.

The guys always look shabby, with ripped and torn clothes, hats shoes etc.

I wonder whether the ladies just cared more about their appearance, or did the men just want their ladies to look better, allowing them to spend their hard earned money on things for herself rather than themselves?

As a matter of fact, don't husbands of today do the same?

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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