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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Elm Grove: 1936

Elm Grove: 1936

August 1936. "People living in miserable poverty. Elm Grove, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma." Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size. The girl can also be seen here.

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Boot camp luxury

I would say this boy was about 11 when this was taken. The war was a little over five years away. I would bet that, by 1942, he had enlisted in some branch of the service. I would also bet that he did not take part in the widespread complaining about the cooking and accommodations on stateside bases. "SOS" and a bunk in a barracks, complete with indoor plumbing, would have been luxury compared to what we see in this picture.

Ukrainian Security Service

It's funny but now SBU (Ukrainian Security Service) tried to prove starvation in Ukraine with Shorpy photos.

Waiting for new collage.

Civil War

I believe all the poverty/hardship seen in these pictures of the South...can be directly traced to the slash/burn policy of Shermans. THe South espically the slave states.. The war ended in 1865...those born in that year..would have been 40 years old..they in turn had children who carried the burden placed on goes on to present day. however THE SOUTH DID RISE AGAin.. My comments do not reflect the right or wrong of slavery. That topic is still being discuss dailey..

[Check your math. And spelling. - Dave]

Damaged Child

I absolutely adore Dorothea Lange's work! Damaged Child--the picture of the girl--is one of my favorites, I'm so delighted to find another picture of her! She reminds me of Sofie (but as a child) in Carnivale, the HBO show I dearly love--and the reason why I got interested in the 1930s and so much more. In fact, all of Dorothea Lange's marvelous work reminds me of Carnivale.

Wonderful website by the way! The pictures and graphic design are absolutely stupendous!

Elm Grove

For the cost of your internet connection, your in-laws in Borneo could live like royalty. 1930's Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas were tough places to scratch out a living during the double-whammy of the dust bowl and depression - my family included. I see two fairly healthy-looking kids in the picture - seems Mom was doing a pretty good job considering the circumstances.

Elm Grove

I have in-laws who live almost at this level today -- in Borneo.

Not so Creepy

She reminds me of "Scout" in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Man, those eyes!

The girl is even more creepy in this photo than in the other one. And the poverty! This family has really reached rock bottom. Haunting.

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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