SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Vegetable Kingdom: 1939

Vegetable Kingdom: 1939

September 1939. "Ernest W. Kirk Jr. with his two sons on their farm near Ordway, Colorado. They hold fruits of their farm, coming from their labor, which has placed them in a few months from almost hopeless condition to a family with net worth approaching a thousand dollars." Medium format negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

The importance of being

In the 1940 Census our man is listed as Earnest W. Kirk Jr., born in Oklahoma in 1900. In 1925 he married to Ester Adams, born in Oklahoma in 1905. The two boys are Earnest (b. 1928) and Carl D. (1932); they had a sister, Delorise, born in 1937.

["Delorise" -- really? - Dave]

High cost of goodies

Back in those days candy bars were a nickel, as was a bottle of pop, six pack was a quarter. When I was sent to the store I sometimes got a penny or two for candy, if I was lucky. We had quite a choice, from licorice cigarettes, licorice chewing tobacco, white candy cigarettes -- lotsa goodies, all for a penny.


My parents bought their first house for $500 during the 1930s. Dad made the huge sum of $40 a month. $1000 may not be a lot of money today, but it was a sizable sum back then.

Really odd

Multiple pictures show he has a wife and a young daughter in addition to his two sons. And I believe I found an obit from his oldest son but they are nowhere to be found in the 1940 Census.

The value of working hard

$1,000 in 1939 works out to a tad over $18,000 according to the BLM inflation calculator.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.