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Nuclear Farmily: 1942

Nuclear Farmily: 1942

February 1942. Woodville, Calif. "FSA farm workers' community. Agricultural worker and his family in their garden house." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Admin. View full size.


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I'm guessing.

Spoons were for chocolate milk and the young fella on the right already finished his dinner. Cookies for dessert!

I see Smart & Final brand pepper.

That supermarket company is still around. Founded in Los Angeles in 1871. Even up to 30 years ago they called themselves a Limited company. I always thought that was so strange.

A place for everything

And I thought I was the only person that kept my bug sprayer on top of the fridge.

Garden house is code for: tiny

I appreciate how neat everything is and how well set the table. I bet the misses embroidered the curtains that she put up and the tablecloth that she went to the trouble of putting down for this meal.

I also wondered why one child would be allowed to eat only cookies while everyone else is having a proper meal. Then I remembered Billy Mumy in that Twilight Zone episode.

And oh -- Nuclear Farmily, Dave? You're a regular Henny Youngman.

Salad Dressing

Would you like a spritz of DDT with that romaine?

A bountiful crop

... of appliances.

Rural electrification wasn't quite as rare as we might imagine - about half, by 1942, by one account - but I'll bet a whole peck of peaches few farmsteads had the finery backdropping this family.

(And good to see Dad is following the rules of the road "serve to the left, clear from the right")

Cookie dinner

Everything looks pretty normal here until you look closer. Does the salt shaker have to be completely empty to be refilled? Why are there spoons in the glasses of water? Why does Mom have the full glass of milk instead of Junior on the right eating a dinner of cookies? And where does he get off anyway?

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