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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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Clean Living: 1937

Clean Living: 1937

Washington, D.C. June 4, 1937. "Trailer camp." And what looks like the trailer seen earlier here. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Departure from the 1930s ordinary

After seeing so many photos of Depression-era people on the road, with whole families living out of their cars and trying to get work where it could be found, it's kind of refreshing to see people living on the road because they wanted to. Of course, I'm sure they were in the minority.

I guess that white lead paste was as necessary to 1930s RV owners as a tube of silicone would be today, for sealing those rivets and seams that always seem to leak.

Clean and Spiffy

I always wear my hairnet when camping as well. I find that it lends to the overall atmosphere.

That Table

Coukd it be a fixed grill for those who don't have a camping stove of some sort?

Random observations

Never go camping without your rubber floor mat.

How about the portal height of that trailer? Mom is standing on the ground, yet wiping near the top of the door.

It started way back then: make windows that stick out, so when you walk by they poke you in the eye. (Don't ask how I know about that one.)


doesn't look like a happy camper.

A Trailer Camp

"Trailer camps" used to be quite common. The trailers (and you can see several in the background) had beds and a small living area, cooking was usually done outdoors or under a shelter, and there was a central shower/toilet/laundry facility. This is doubtless the white building in the background.

Check out these vintage postcards for a more complete glimpse into this prewar Vagabond lifestyle!

I love stuff like this!

Camping shoes

Look at the moderately high heels they are wearing in a camping trailer park. Plus dresses on an outing. You don't see that level of dress in camping parks of today.

What is the table in the infield used for?

House cleaning.

The only trailer trash I see is the empty matchbook on the ground.

State Fair

This reminds me of the 1945 musical in which the family takes their little trailer to the fair for a week.

White Lead Paste

What's the Eagle All Purpose White Lead Paste, on the box serving as a doorstep?

[White lead paste was a filler that could be thinned with linseed oil and used as a caulk or putty. Mixed with pigments, it could be used as paint. - Dave]

Griffin Allwhite Shoe Polish

is what I used to use to clean my white bucks when they were the shoe of the day. I don't think they have that any more. And if this is a trailer park, where are the flamingos?

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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