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Fallen Fiber: 1939

Fallen Fiber: 1939

November 1939. "Cotton fallen from wagons on way to gin along main highway. Mississippi Delta near Clarksdale." Acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.


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Too bad

that this was not Highway 61, because if another picture showed up, you could have titled it "Highway 61 Revisited".

Markov Process with Spatially Dependent Rate

The cotton is on both sides of the road - not only the direction going toward the gin it's destined for.

The stuff falls on the road and keeps getting moved by traffic until it's somewhere where traffic never goes, like gravel by roadsides, on either side.

By jove, I think I've found it

We're looking south, just south of the US 278/US 61 interchange. The large hip-roofed farm building off to the right still stands.

Childhood memories

My uncle down in south Georgia owned a cotton gin as one of his many businesses (he also dealt in bat guano as fertilizer). Anyway, whenever we'd go visit in the late summer the roads on the way to his place were always covered in cotton that had fallen off the trucks and wagons. It looked like snow to us kids. He also owned the town swimming pool, and if you timed your visit too late, the pool would be closed because he'd use the water for the cotton ginning operation. That would make a late-August visit to steamy south Georgia almost unbearable.

Route 49

Although it’s so relatively narrow (compared with today’s highways) and has grass growing right up to its edge (no paved or gravel shoulders), the roadway itself is so smooth and, for the most part, uncracked and unbroken (okay, there’s a little bit of imperfection in the right lane, foreground). I have found myself coming back to stare at this road. It’s really quite lovely, really.

Manna from Heaven

It's still common in Ohio with harvested corn, to find a stream of wind-lofted loose corn on the shoulder of routes to grain storage. It gets the birds through the winter.

Chemical Soup

Looks like there are coolant drops, crankcase oil, differential drips, transmission oil, grease plops and who knows what else down the middle lanes in both directions of this concrete highway.

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