Friday, August 6, 2010

What America Looked Like, 1939-1943

Every blog and its brother seems to be linking to the Denver Post's photo gallery of Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information images this week. It's a beautiful series of color pictures taken from 1939 to 1943, which belong to the Library of Congress.

Many of them offer a glimpse of the America as if it were part of the Coen brothers' movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, as one friend put it.

Two weathered buildings covered with signs for beer, barbeque and more
A crossroads store, bar, juke joint, and gas station in the cotton plantation area of Melrose, Louisiana, June 1940. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott.

The photos begin by chronicling the Depression, but soon segue into the war at home.

Women gathered around a long table, wearing overalls and headscarves, their lunch buckets on the table before them
These women workers were employed as wipers in a roundhouse for the Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. Photo by Jack Delano.

African American woman in a blue jumpsuit and red headscarf riveting a reflective metal panel
This woman -- the real Rosie the Riveter -- is assembling a "Vengeance" dive bomber in Tennessee, February 1943. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer.

There are dozens and dozens of images on the Post page, each a gem worth studying as both a historical artifact and an image.

1 comment:

Ms Sparrow said...

All those women with their hair tied up in bandanas remind me of my mom with her hair "pinned up" in bobby pins for church Sunday morning.