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.

January 3, 2009

Bar Belles

Crab boil night at a bar in Raceland, Louisiana. Other photos in this series show tables covered with crab.

Photo by Russell Lee, 1938.

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December 31, 2008

Dancing the Night Away

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms CHICAGO, DANCING and MUSIC Club DeLisa, Chicago. 1942.

Photo by Jack Delano.

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to locate this image, use search terms: Chicago, dancing, music

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December 17, 2008

Roughneck

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms OIL, WORKER and OKLAHOMA An oil-field worker in Oklahoma, 1939.

Photo by Russell Lee

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to locate this image, use search terms: oil, worker, Oklahoma

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December 16, 2008

10 People, 3 Small Rooms

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms TWO ADULTS and EIGHT CHILDREN Taken in the "Mexican section" of San Diego in 1941. The father is an agricultural worker.

The family lives in what is described as "three small rooms, with no bath...They use an outside toilet shared with five other families." In addition to the eight children in this photo, another is on the way.

(photographer: Russell Lee)

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to locate this image, use search terms: two adults, eight children

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December 15, 2008

More Laundry

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms ELEVEN, CHILDREN and FACTORY The caption accompanying this photo is worthy of being quoted in full:
"Lititz, Pennsylvania. Mrs. R.W. (Elizabeth) Almoney, forty-seven (center rear), has had eleven children. She works as a gauge inspector at the Animal Trap Company and on Sunday does the washing. Her husband (left) works in the local chocolate factory. Daughter Arline, twenty (right), who also works at the Animal Trap Company, is cooking Sunday dinner. There are three brothers in the service, and one Boy Scout, age thirteen, in the family."

Before birth control was legal, and prior to automatic clothes washers, there was a lot more work - and a lot less play.

Photo taken in 1942 by Marjory Collins.
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[American Memory link]
to locate this image, use search terms: eleven, children, factory

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December 11, 2008

Lumberjack

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms INDIAN and WOODSMANThis gent, a First Nations lumberjack from Canada, was photographed in Maine during the 1943 Spring pulpwood drive.

Photo by John Collier.

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to locate this image, use search terms: Indian, woodsman

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December 10, 2008

MacKenzie King, Prime Minister

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms PRIME MINISTER KING
Love the shades.

Taken in Washington, D.C. during a visit by Canada's Prime Minister, MacKenzie King, in 1943.

Photo by Ann Rosener.

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to locate this image, use search terms: Prime, Minister, King

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December 6, 2008

Muscle

locate this image on the American Memory website by using the search terms PLENTY and MUSCLE Members of the Coast Guard at Fort Story, Virginia, cleaning a large gun/cannon after it was fired.

Photo by Alfred T. Palmer, 1942.

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to locate this image, use search term: plenty of muscle

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