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Hoes Before Bros: 1942

Hoes Before Bros: 1942

February 1942. "Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona. FSA farmworkers' community. Boys learning to garden in the vocational training class. This is vocational training as provided for in the Smith-Hughes bill." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

What's the Deal

What are the reasons that conservatives like to hate on the New Deal?

Second from left

That's one handsome rake there!

Trust me

I like them all -- a lot, especially the one with the aviator goggles and holster -- but the third young man from the left is everything.

Knowledge is power

These kids certainly know where all the bodies are buried. I hope they use it to their advantage.

There is such a flatness to this picture

And yet you can see for miles and miles. If this weren't on Shorpy, I'd suspect these eight characters were photoshopped into that field. Or they were placed in front of a stage backdrop for the original photograph. Russell Lee took an interesting picture.

Future ...

Accountant, Baseball Player, Farmer, Actor, Homesteader, Outlaw, Mechanic, Lawyer.

It's going to be a very long while

… before you see another dude in a double breasted jacket hoeing a row. And a well-earned tip of the hat to Dave for yet another exemplary feat of lexical dexterity.

Just the implement

I have a hoe that my great-grandmother used. How many years she used it I have no idea but the blade is worn down to about the size of a large serving spoon and the handle is worn to about half its original diameter where her hands gripped it. A lasting memory is going to see Granny after church and there she would be in the garden with the hoe and wearing one of those old fashioned sun bonnets like the logo for Old Dutch Cleanser.

In the Top Five ...

of the greatest all-time Shorpy titles from our Potentate of Puns.

Early versions of celebrity lookalikes

Left to Right:

Alfalfa, Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Mickey Rooney, Joseph Gordon-Levitt , John Travolta, Steve McQueen and Jim Parsons.

Now appearing at the Dunes in Vegas

There's good money in ho'in

Let's finish this up so we can meet the dames back at the ham shack!

Thought bubbles?

This would be a fun photo to add thought bubbles to! I won't take the time to do them all, but I can imagine one thinking, Jeez my sis gets to do Home Ec (and he grows up to be a trans woman), another wishing he was on a horse, another wants to be a preacher, one a soldier, etc. Great faces!

Not for long

This charming photo actually represents something that anti-New Deal conservatives hated -- farmers in communities, working together under expert guidance to improve their lot. The Farm Security Administration and its photo unit were under attack from their formation in 1937.

In February 1942 all was in transition. The unit's head, Roy Stryker, was encouraging his photographers to supplement their documentary mission with positive and patriotic American images. With these eight boys, Russell Lee found a way to combine the emphases.

Eight months after this, the photo unit was moved into the Office of War Information. The next year it was disbanded.

Biggest guy

Gets to rake.

I Can Name Three -- Guess which "Bros" they are.

John Wayne, Slip Mahoney, and Smilin' Jack! (Hint, Saturday afternoon movies and Sunday comics, the 1940s)

Hybrid hoer

We've all heard of the ideal of the citizen-statesman; here's an aviator-cowboy from the forties. A real-life Buckaroo Banzai.

Re: An actual corner

Maybe it's not a toy gun?

I triple dog dare ya!

Flick’s aviator cap is worn by a boy who might give you a lickin’ if you make fun of him.

Eight Boys, One Pair of Gloves

When you're learning to garden, an early lesson is that gloves prevent blisters. By lunchtime, seven will have learned that lesson and the kid on the left will be the only one still hoeing.

An actual corner

Here it is at the corner of AZ 287 and 11 Mile Road in Pinal County, 11 miles from Casa Grande, Eloy, and Coolidge. Cotton was the main crop.

The boy with the aviator goggles and helmet looks a little old to be strapping on a toy pistol though.

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