Jul 31, 2009

on vacation - back soon

All the best

Jul 27, 2009

Truck Stop

A gleaming, vital image of a trucker grabbing a meal at a Mississippi truck stop in 1943. (Click photo for a larger view.)

Taken by John Vachon. [American Memory link]

Jul 25, 2009

Pepe's Cafe

Taking a break at Pepe's coffee shop in Key West, Florida, 1938. The chairs and tables look European in both design and scale.

Photo by Arthur Rothstein. [American Memory link]

Jul 23, 2009

Greek Coffee

A lush, crisp shot of the owner of a coffee shop in 1938 Pennsylvania. (Click image for a larger view.)

Photo by Arthur Rothstein. [American Memory link]

Jul 21, 2009

Reading the Mail

This young man, photographed in 1942 Idaho, looks remarkably contemporary.

Photo by Russell Lee. [American Memory link]

Jul 19, 2009

Making Soap 2

Cutting homemade soap (comprised of grease and lye) into bars. In a rural community with few medical services, ensuring that the knife didn't slip was crucially important. New Mexico, 1939.

Photo by Russell Lee. [American Memory link]

Jul 17, 2009

Making Soap

Ah, yes, the good ol' days, when one spooned grease and lye into a tub set over a woodfire. Eventually the whole mess hardened and one cut it out of the tub in chunks.

The thing we forget when we romanticize living 'close to the land' prior to modern manufacturing is that it involved hour upon hour of unpleasant, tedious and frequently dangerous work. There's a reason the people in so many of these photos look older than their years.

Photo taken by Russell Lee in New Mexico, 1939. [American Memory link]

Jul 15, 2009

Candy Stand

A candy stand at a farm auction frequented by Amish, Mennonite and Pennsylvania Dutch families. Pennsylvania, 1942.

Photo by John Collier. [American Memory link]

Jul 13, 2009


Deciding on which candy to buy. Idaho, 1941.

Photo by Russell Lee. [American Memory link]

Jul 8, 2009

Helping Out

George Carell's seven-year-old son lends a hand in his father's workshop that produces war equipment. 1942 New Jersey.

Photo by Howard Liberman. [American Memory link]

Jul 6, 2009

Worry and Hardship

A father with his sick child. This man moved his family from Texas to Oregon in a homemade trailer in 1939 in order to secure work in a potato field.

Photo by Dorothea Lange. [American Memory link]

Jul 4, 2009

Hanging With Grandad

A fourth of July picnic in Vale, Oregon. 1941. (Click the image for a larger view.)

Photo by Russell Lee. [American Memory link]

Jul 2, 2009

Fruit Pickers

A father with his four sons in 1940 Michigan. The caption accompanying this images reads: "Migrant father and sons living in back of truck in fruit pickers camp...The two older boys work with their father picking cherries."

Photo by John Vachon. [American Memory link]