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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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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Progressive Farmer: 1940

Progressive Farmer: 1940

November 1940. Tulare County, California. "Corner of kitchen in Schmidt house at Mineral King cooperative farm. They are equipped with electric refrigerators." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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So little space

And no tupperware. Bowls, cups, and paper bags.
Is that a linoleum floor? It's not very well put together. I love the poor little flowers above the sink and the woman's well-worn shoes and socks.

Photos like this make me appreciate what I have.

[These people were living in a brand-new house, back when most farmhouses lacked electricity and many had no indoor plumbing. - Dave]

Never with a knife

An emergency-room doctor once told me a freak tale of defrosting an old-style fridge badly. A guy was hacking away at the ice on his freezer compartment and he pierced the metal, hitting a tube. A jet of freon whooshed out, which the guy inhaled directly. He had an immediate heart attack and died. (By the time I heard this tale, my old-style freezer defrosting days were over, and good thing too, since my own method was to place a pot of hot water underneath and then stab at the ice with a heavy blunt knife.)

Second shift

I can just hear my mother (of the same vintage as pictured): "Her socks and shoes are a disgrace, but you could eat off her kitchen floor."

Living on a farm in California, I'd be inclined to overlook the icetrays and shoes. Farm wives of any vintage work two jobs: the farm and the house. Keeping field dirt off her floors is a pretty admirable job.

Wow, time to defrost

Looks like it has been some time since the freezer section has been defrosted. My '46 GE refrigerator needs the same attention at least twice a year.

Defrost Cycle Needed

The defrost cycle is manual. Take everything out, put a bowl under the freezer compartment, put towels out, and let thaw.

Chip away the ice when it gets loose enough.

Put everything back in.

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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