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Omaha, Nebraska, November 1938 by John Vachon

27 Nov

I spent a cold November week in Omaha and walked a hundred miles. Was it Kearney Street where unemployed men sat all day on the steps of cheap hotels? A tattoo parlor, and the city mission with its soup kitchen. Men hanging around the stockyards. One morning I photographed a grain elevator: pure sun-brushed silo columns of cement rising from behind CB&Q freight car. The genius of Walker Evans and Charles Sheeler welded into one supreme photographic statement, I told myself. Then it occurred to me that it was I who was looking at the grain elevator. For the past year I had been sedulously aping the masters. And in Omaha I realized that I had developed my own style with the camera. I knew that I would photograph only what pleased me or astonished my eye, and only in the way I saw it.

John F. Vachon (May 19, 1914 – April 20, 1975) was an American photographer. He worked as a filing clerk for the Farm Security Administration before Roy Stryker recruited him to join a small group of photographers, including Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Mary Post Wolcott, Jack Delano, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Charlotte Brooks, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn, who were employed to publicize the conditions of the rural poor in America.

Cars and parking meters

Nebraska is the white spot of the nation

Danbaum armored car

On a streetcar

Unemployed men who ride the freight trains from Omaha to Kansas City and St. Louis and back

High school student’s car

In the wholesale district

Boxcar and grain elevators

At the Armistice Day parade

Newsstand

Oak bar from a more prosperous era

Flophouse on lower Douglas Street

Saloon in the stockyard district

Blind beggar

Restaurant sign

[Wikipedia, via FSA-OWI Photos]

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People’s Drug Store, circa 1921

10 Nov

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. “People’s Drug Store, 7th and E Sts.” National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

Colour Photographs of American Store Fronts, 1940s

10 Nov

(via How to be a Retronaut)

Inside the Oxford Street HMV Store in the 60s

27 Sep

New York, 1940s, in colour

5 Aug
A corner on west Canal St., 1942

Chinese store windows, New York, 1942

Collecting the salvage on Lower East Side

Corner of Pearl St., 1942

Crowd gathers during Salvage collection in Lower East Side, 1942

Up 4th Ave from Astor Place Cooper Union on the-right-1942

Color photography of America in years before World War II [more…]

16 Jul
Bayou Bourbeau plantation, a Farm Security Administration cooperative. Vicinity of Natchitoches, Louisiana, August 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

African American’s tenant’s home beside the Mississippi River levee. Near Lake Providence, Louisiana, June 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

A crossroads store, bar, “juke joint,” and gas station in the cotton plantation area. Melrose, Louisiana, June 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Boys fishing in a bayou. Schriever, Louisiana, June 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Fish saler. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

African American migratory workers by a “juke joint”. Belle Glade, Florida, February 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Children aiming sticks as guns, lined up against a brick building. Washington, D.C.(?), between 1941 and 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photographer Unknown. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Shulman’s market, on N at Union Street S.W. Washington, D.C., between 1941 and 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Louise Rosskam. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

House. Washington, D.C.(?), between 1941 and 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Louise Rosskam. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Chapel, Vadito. Near Penasco, New Mexico, Spring 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by John Collier. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

A welder who works in the round-house at the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company’s Proviso yard. Chicago, Illinois, December 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

View in a departure yard at Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company’s Proviso yard at twilight. Chicago, Illinois, December 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Switchman throwing a switch at Chicago and Northwest Railway Company’s Proviso yard. Chicago, Illinois, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Mike Evans, a welder, at the rip tracks at Proviso yard of the Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Chicago, Illinois, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Putting the finishing touches on a rebuilt caboose at the rip tracks at Proviso yard. Chicago, Illinois, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Switch engine in yard near Calumet Park stockyards, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. Calumet City, Illinois, January 1943. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

General view of part of the South Water Street freight depot of the Illinois Central Railroad Chicago, Illinois, May 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Mrs. Viola Sievers, one of the wipers at the roundhouse giving a giant “H” class locomotive a bath of live steam. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Children stage a patriotic demonstration. Southington, Connecticut, May 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Fenno Jacobs. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

At Beecher Street School. Southington, Connecticut, May 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Fenno Jacobs. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Street corner. Dillon, Montana, August 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Shepherd with his horse and dog on Gravelly Range Madison County, Montana, August 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Servicing an A-20 bomber. Langley Field, Virginia, July 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Marine glider at Page Field. Parris Island, South Carolina, May 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

M-4 tank crews of the United States. Fort Knox, Kentucky, June 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Welder making boilers for a ship, Combustion Engineering Company. Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Construction work at the TVA’s Douglas Dam. Tennessee, June 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Assembling B-25 bombers at North American Aviation. Kansas City, Kansas, October 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

P-51 ‘Mustang’ fighter in flight. Inglewood, California, October 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Woman is working on a “Vengeance” dive bomber Tennessee, February 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Hanna furnaces of the Great Lakes Steel Corporation, stock pile of coal and iron ore. Detroit, Michigan, November 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Arthur Siegel. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Rural school children. San Augustine County, Texas, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by John Vachon. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Rural school children. San Augustine County, Texas, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by John Vachon. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Worker at carbon black plant. Sunray, Texas, 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Worker at carbon black plant John Vachon. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Color photography of America in years before World War II

10 Jul
Faro and Doris Caudill, homesteaders. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Connecticut town on the sea. Stonington, Connecticut, November 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Farm auction. Derby, Connecticut, September 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Children gathering potatoes on a large farm. Vicinity of Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Trucks outside of a starch factory. Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Headlines posted in street-corner window of newspaper office (Brockton Enterprise). Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Children in the tenement district. Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Going to town on Saturday afternoon. Greene County, Georgia, May 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Chopping cotton on rented land near White Plains. White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, June 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Barker at the grounds at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Backstage at the “girlie” show at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

At the Vermont state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Couples at square dance. McIntosh County, Oklahoma, 1939 or 1940, Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Orchestra at square dance. McIntosh County, Oklahoma, 1939 or 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Children asleep on bed during square dance. McIntosh County, Oklahoma, 1939 or 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Jack Whinery, homesteader, and his family. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The Faro Caudill family eating dinner in their dugout. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Saying grace before the barbeque dinner at the New Mexico Fair. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Homesteader and his children eating barbeque at the New Mexico Fair. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

School children singing. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Garden adjacent to the dugout home of Jack Whinery, homesteader. Pie Town, New Mexico, September 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Mill at the Camp Bird Mine. Ouray County, Colorado, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Distributing surplus commodities. St. Johns, Arizona, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Hauling crates of peaches from the orchard to the shipping shed. Delta County, Colorado, September 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Hay stack and automobile of peach pickers. Delta County, Colorado, 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

On main street of Cascade. Cascade, Idaho, July 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Road cut into the barren hills which lead into Emmett. Emmett, Idaho, July 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Shasta dam under construction. California, June 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Boy building a model airplane as girl watches. Robstown, Texas, January 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Grand Grocery Company. Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by John Vachon. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Young African American boy. Cincinnati, Ohio, 1942 or 1943. Photo by John Vachon. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Wisdom, Montana, April 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by John Vachon. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

A Fourth of July celebration. St. Helena Island, South Carolina, 1939. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Planting corn along a river. Northeastern Tennessee, May 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

African Americans fishing in creek near cotton plantations. Belzoni, Mississippi, October 1939. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress