SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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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Neideffer Camp: 1937

Neideffer Camp: 1937

Spring 1937. "This family without food and work about to be returned to Oklahoma by the Relief Administration. They have lost a baby as a result of exposure during the winter. Had to sell their tent and car to buy food. Neideffer Camp, Holtville, Imperial Valley, California." Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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Southern California 1937

My parents and maternal grandparents moved to Los Angeles in May 1937 from their home in Independence, Missouri. A skilled finish carpenter, grandfather almost immediately found well-paying steady work building cabinets and fitted closets in a movie star's Pacific Palisades residence. My beautiful mother, then 22, found sales work in the big downtown stores. Though ordinary middle class people, they were really fortunate to live in security among those with far more money; photos of people in dire straits such as these emphasize that fact resoundingly.

A back to reality picture

Think about this photo next time your satellite or cable TV goes on the fritz or the kids accidentally scratch your car in the driveway.
Perseverance is what we are made of.


Must of been rough in California for the family to be sent back to Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl.


It's amazing that the woman can still smile in spite of these harrowing circumstances. They did what they had to or could do to survive. That family would have to wait another 3 or 4 years until the wartime economy kicks in order to see any real relief.

Yet she smiles

in the face of such adversity. An indomitable spirit indeed.

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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