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Under the Wire: 1940

Under the Wire: 1940

January 1940. "Marion Post Wolcott with Ikoflex and Speed Graphic in hand in Montgomery County, Maryland." Medium format acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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3x4 speed

Her speed graphic looks like a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 sized one. Equipped with a Kalart range finder, it is likely an anniversary or pre-anniversary model. She has it equipped with a bag mag, which allowed fairly rapid changing of up to 12 sheets of film.

[The LOC notes on her sheet film photos there verify that size. -tterrace]


I guess cows don't know how to lie on their sides, scrunch up their knees, and roll under the lowest wire. But wily humans will always find a way!

Snow on the ground now, too

There's snow on the ground in Montgomery County, Maryland today too. But it isn't quite as deep as in the photo.

It is too bad they didn't identify the specific name or location of the farm. It may well have been replaced by a housing development by now.

All time fav

Although I've seen a small version of this photo before somewhere, I think it just now suddenly became my favorite Shorpy photo ever, because it has captured a beautiful moment (and a beautiful smile) in a way that very few of these FSA/OWA photos ever do. Even if it is somewhat posed, I imagine that the two of them were out on assignment together, and that she had been crossing under the barbed wire seeking a better vantage point for a photo (I've convinced myself that I can see her footprint trail behind her in the field), and that he saw an opportunity for a great photo of his own. The result is perfect. Now maybe some day I'll see the photo that she got while she was over there in the field.

[The other photos (hundreds of them) are here (Wolcott) and here (Rothstein). - Dave]

A great photo of a great photographer!

"No barbed wire is going to get in the way of my shot!"

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