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 4, 2009

Spectators

It's impossible to know the emotions of these women as they gaze over the fence at the amusement park. Curiosity? Longing? Childhood reminiscence?

Photo by Fenno Jacobs. Southington, Connecticut. 1942.

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to locate this image, use search terms: Connecticut, amusement, park

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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 29, 2008

Swing Your Partner

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms NEW, SQUARE and DANCE Square dancing in New Mexico, 1940.

Photo by Russell Lee.

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to locate this image, use search terms: new, square, dance

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December 19, 2008

Home Canning

locate this image on the American Memory website by using search terms HANSEN and PRESERVESMrs. Hansen, a farmer's wife in Utah, is seen with her store of home-grown, home-preserved fruits and vegetables. This photo was taken in 1940 - an era in which housewives would can 500 quarts a year to feed their families during the winter.

[photographer not identified]

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to locate this image, use search terms: Hansen, preserves

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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 12, 2008

Gonna Soak Up the Sun

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms ARLINGTON and SUNBATHERS Occupants of a wartime women's residence in Arlington, Virginia sunbathe behind their building.

Photo by Esther Bubley, 1943.

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to locate this image, use search terms: Arlington, sunbathers

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October 23, 2008

Arms Inspector

to locate this image on the American Memory website, use search terms BERTHA and KENTUCKYIdentified as 21-year-old Bertha Stallworth, this young woman inspected artillery cartridges as part of her job. Hundreds of similar photos in this collection show women performing non-traditional tasks while men served in the armed forces during World War II.

Taken in Frankfort, Kentucky in Jan. 1943.

(photographer: Howard R. Hollem)

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to locate this image, use search terms: Bertha, Kentucky

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