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Minivan: 1937

Minivan: 1937

July 1937. "Sharecropper family near Hazlehurst, Georgia." Nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Tobacco Road

I finished reading the book recently. This is a stark reminder of life for the poor in our country in the 1920-30's.


Old before their time for sure. You can't tell, but her teeth are probably as bad or worse than his. They are doing a good job with their kids, they look well fed, as does their ox, but theirs was a hard life. Look at his nails. Great photo.


Petty good bet the parents are in their early thirties. I imagine they were sharecroppers. Unfortunately, they aged too quickly. I hope the kids did better.

Feed Sacks

The dress and sun bonnet were probably made out of feed sack fabric. I suspect she had a bit of scrap material left and decided to make the baby a matching hat.

Feed sack fashions were VERY common during these times. Every girl had a dress made of them, nearly every boy had a shirt with at least some part of it sewn from them and everyone had a quilt made of the scraps. And we think WE recycle?


This is real.

Not Completely Rags

I would guess this couple isn't much older than in their mid 30's. You age quickly in hard working conditions.

I grew up on the farm with not many luxuries. These people aren't exactly in rags for clothes. Who knows, they may have their best clothes on for this photo shoot. I've worn much worse when laboring as a kid.

That board as a seat sure doesn't look to comfortable though.

Public Breastfeeding

Considering what a hot-button issue public breastfeeding is these days, when modesty standards are presumed to be looser, I find it interesting to see this mother willingly and happily breastfeeding her child in a photograph.

Granted, she is being what most would call "discreet," (and the baby's bonnet is rather amusingly functioning as camouflage), but interesting nonetheless.

Good mileage, but...

...what if the horse has gas?

Matching Baby Bonnet

The patterned bonnet that matches the dress makes the breast feeding infant almost imperceptible. Dad's teeth help with the visual distraction, too.

Live Hard

Could that be Bruce Willis' grandfather? Because I sure see a resemblance. Also, nice camouflage idea, making baby's bonnet out of the same material as Mama's dress. What's with these Depression-era women, anyway? They're always flashing us.

Maybe she's weary

Women do get weary, wearing the same shabby dress. This is one of those photos that speak a thousand words or more. Dire poverty, aged before their time, babies like steps, deprivation in every material thing. Yet they manage to smile for the photo (perhaps some coinage was in it for them)? Where does one begin to speculate on their needs? The kids appear to be freckled redheads but maybe not. How old do you suppose the parents really are? The children here may still be with us, but in a picture like this, one cannot help but be full of curiosity as to the austere circumstances and hopefully better outcome soon. Very thought-provoking photo Shorpy and makes everyone realize they were not so hard-up as previously thought.

Baby camouflage

Surprised no one has spotted the feeding baby yet, its camouflage is working well.

[Somebody did. See the first comment below. - Dave]

No cupholders

Obviously not needed!

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