Travel Stock

Time Travel

Mississippi Bayou, 1939.  Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Makes me think of Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn. All photos in this post were taken by photographers commissioned by the Farm Services Administration or the Office of War Information.

     Since this blog is about travel photography, I thought that traveling back in time to look at photos taken by photographers traveling across the US back in the 1930’s and 40’s to document rural America and the World War II effort throughout the US, certainly fit in with the blog’s theme–and these are far superior to any I have to offer. 
     I love the old Black & White Photos by the FSA photographers–Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Gordon Parks, who, among others, have inspired me since I first learned about the Farm Services Administration’s photography project back in high school. I didn’t realize that there was also a small treasure trove of color images such as those shown here.

Cincinnati, Ohio circa 1942. Photo by John Vachon.
A member of the Stock Imaging Forum–from Sweden (gotta love how the web makes the world so much smaller-thanks, Kathleen!)–just posted the link to an article on the Denver Post’s Photo Blog and I felt that I just had to share it. All of the photos posted here are from the FSA or the Office of War Information and were commissioned by the Government, between 1939 and 1943. They are the property of the Library of Congress.
      The color in these images is wonderful, as is how well they capture America at that time. The quality of the transparencies is really great after all these years. I didn’t realize that color film was that sophisticated back in the 1930’s and 40’s. 
 So Carolina. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer
Our government was really enlightened when it hired so many wonderful photographers to go out and document America during the Depression and World War II

Be sure to check out the rest (there are 69 shown full frame size-just a small sampling of the 1,600 color photos taken by the FSA/OWI during that era ) on The Denver Post’s Plog Photo Blog
 Plog Photo Blog 
and even more from the Library of Congress (see link below)

Tennessee, 1943. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer.

I can’t help wondering if this photo was the inspiration for that famous poster of “Rosie the Riveter” 

The detail in the photos is truly incredible. 

You can download full-resolution copies of these and the other FSA/OWI photos from the Library of Congress website: The Library of Congress  They have 1,600 color photos alone from this era. It’s an amazing resource.

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