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The Cat in the Hat: 1939

The Cat in the Hat: 1939

August 1939. Yakima Valley near Wapato, Washington. Farm Security Administration client Chris Adolph. "My father made me work. That was his mistake, he made me work too hard. I learned about farming but nothing out of the books." View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

Today, the first installment of another selection of photos by Dorothea Lange of Midwesterners en route from the drought-stricken farms of the 1930s Dust Bowl to California, Oregon, Washington and the South. The captions are hers.

 

Flat Broke: 1936

Flat Broke: 1936

August 1936. Family between Dallas and Austin, Texas. The people have left their home and connections in South Texas, and hope to reach the Arkansas Delta for work in the cotton fields. Penniless people. No food and three gallons of gas in the tank. The father is trying to repair a tire. Three children. Father says, "It's tough but life's tough anyway you take it." View full size. Photo by Dorothea Lange.

 

535-07-5248 and Wife

535-07-5248 and Wife

Oregon, August 1939. "Unemployed lumber worker goes with his wife to the bean harvest. Note Social Security number tattooed on his arm." (And now a bit of Shorpy scholarship / detective work. A public records search shows that 535-07-5248 belonged to one Thomas Cave, born July 1912, died in 1980 in Portland. Which would make him 27 years old when this picture was taken.) Medium format safety negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

 

Route 99: 1939

Route 99: 1939

May 1939. Between Tulare and Fresno on U.S. 99. Farmer from Independence, Kansas, on the road at cotton chopping time. He and his family have been in California for six months. View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

 

Texodus: 1936

Texodus: 1936

August 1936. Drought refugees from Abilene, Texas, following the crops of California as migratory workers. Said the father: "The finest people in this world live in Texas but I just can't seem to accomplish nothin' there. Two year drought, then a crop, then two years drought and so on. I got two brothers still trying to make it back there." View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

 

On the Road: 1939

On the Road: 1939

September 1939. "On the road with her family one month from South Dakota. Tulelake, Siskiyou County, Calif." Photo by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

 

Wapato Ennui: 1939

Wapato Ennui: 1939

"Washington, Yakima Valley, near Wapato. One of Chris Adolph's younger children. Farm Security Administration Rehabilitation clients." August 1939. View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

 

A Place to Call Home: 1939

A Place to Call Home: 1939

"Youngest little girl of motherless family." Toppenish in the Yakima Valley of Washington State. August 1939. View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

 

Dust Bowl Kids: 1936

Dust Bowl Kids: 1936

"Children of Oklahoma drought refugee in migratory camp in California." November 1936. View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

 

Tater Tot: 1939

Tater Tot: 1939

Family of migrant potato pickers in Tulelake, Siskiyou County, California. September 1939. View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

 

Mobile Home: 1936

Mobile Home: 1936

"To serve the crops of California, thousands of families live on wheels. Near Bakersfield, California." View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

 

R.P. Bean Ranch: c. 1910

R.P. Bean Ranch: c. 1910

The R.P. Bean Ranch, with four cowboys and three horses, near Van Horn, Texas, c. 1910. View full size (Courtesy Portal to Texas History).

Home Work Wagon: 1912

Home Work Wagon: 1912

August 1912. "The wagon that delivers Home Work to Somerville, Massachusetts. The owner of the wagon (who is not the driver) is O. H. Brown, 27 Main Street, Reading. These wagons (about 4 in all) are worked on commission, not owned by factory." ("Home work" here meant pre-cut cloth patterns ready to be sewn into various articles of clothing.) View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. Note the curious tassels hanging off the horse. (Answer: It's a fly fringe.)

 

Calle de Coca-Cola: 1941

Calle de Coca-Cola: 1941

Street in San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 1941. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano, who moved to Puerto Rico permanently in 1946. The cross street is Calle de Rafael Cordero and the street we're looking down is Calle de Dr. Jose C. Barb-- with the last few letters obscured.

 

Amarillo, Texas: 1943

Amarillo, Texas: 1943

View of Amarillo, Texas, taken on Santa Fe R.R. trip in March 1943. South Tyler at SW 10th Avenue. View full size. Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 
 
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