Memories    [back to TripodGirl.com]

From the Great Depression to World War II - photos from the American Memory collection


DONNA LAFRAMBOISE  aka  TripodGirl
The American Memory collection contains more than 162,000 images taken between 1935 and 1944 by government-hired photographers. If you were to look at 100 of them per day, every day, you'd need more than four years to view them all. As a photographer, I consider these images nothing short of wondrous. This blog showcases some of them.

November 24, 2008

Lobster Fest

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms GIANT LOBSTERExtreme lobster claw. Taken at the Fulton Fish Market in New York city, 1943.

Photo by Gordon Parks.

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to locate this image, use search terms: giant, lobster

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October 30, 2008

From Racial Segregation to the Oval Office (3 of 3)

[see Part 1 here] [see Part 2 here]

Intelligence. Talent. Hard work. Generations of African-Americans have helped make the US the nation it is today.

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms CAROLINA YARD JOCKEY A truck driver, photographed in North Carolina in 1943. (John Vachon)

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms SHIPYARD DAUGHTER A shipyard worker with his daughter in 1942 Virginia. (Pat Terry)

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms HOWARD PERRY Howard P. Parry, the first African-American to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. (Roger Smith)

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms JANE BOLIN Jane Bolin, the first African-American female judge.

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms RICHARD WRIGHT Richard Wright, poet, photographed in his study in 1943. (Gordon Parks)

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms BOXING REFEREE
(photo by Roger Smith)

During World War II, these men were employed at a coast guard training center. They all taught boxing and, presumably, took turns being referee.

If this is the moment in which an African-American first assumes the presidency of the United States, may his judgment be sound and his decisions fair.

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October 26, 2008

Cutie Pie

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms HARLEM and NEWSBOY This unidentified young man - a newsboy in Harlem - was photographed in May or June of 1943. His cheery innocence is heightened by the scarred sign and peeling paint behind him.

(photographer: Gordon Parks)

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to locate this image, use search terms: Harlem, newsboy

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October 17, 2008

Duke Ellington


In April 1943, jazz/big band great Duke Ellington and his orchestra performed at the Hurricane Club ballroom in New York city. Seventy-two photos taken that evening are part of the American Memory collection. They begin here with a shot of Ellington descending from the ceiling.

In addition to photos of the musicians, photographer Gordon Parks [see an American Memory photo of him here] also took pictures of the audience, and of people working at the venue: chorus girls, a lighting technician, the head waiter, the chef, and the manager among them.


Ellington eating dinner. The caption associated with this photo identifies the woman as his wife, Beatrice Ellington.


Chatting with members of his orchestra.


Horns.


One of my favorite shots. This gentleman is identified as the 2nd cook at the venue.


A fun shot of the telephone booths at the Hurricane.

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[American Memory link]

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