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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.


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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.

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