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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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Poor Guy: 1939

Poor Guy: 1939

July 1939. "Bed with roof over it in May Avenue camp, Oklahoma City." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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May Avenue

I think many of the people of Oklahoma City have forgotten how rough it was here in those days. I wasn't born then, about 15 years later, but I heard a lot about it from my family. My great grandparents even had a land grant from the Run. The house I grew up in on the south side of the city had a working oil well one block over from us for many years, used to go to sleep at night listening to it and the trains that went past the house. May Avenue is very different now, of course.

He May Not Be Down on His Luck

He's wearing a Cities Service patch on what looks like a uniform that is in overall decent shape. Probably has a job.

Interesting history of the company:

[People sleeping outdoors on trash are down on their luck! - Dave]


Air, Bed & Board.

He may be down on his luck,

But he's sporting a pair of well-used Chuck Taylors.

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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