We at DPI believe that this is a very special image and worthy of further examination in a blog. This was the scene in front of the “American National Bank“; Atlanta, Georgia c.1916. American was soon to go out of business, but we see the unloading of paper money in these coils of in front of the bank. Workers and security personnel. Direct deposit? If I were a banker I would want to display an image such as this in my office.
If you are not familiar with the term Gandy Dancer you should be. The term is not used strictly for section crews in the South, but it covers other areas of the United States for workers of many nationalities over many decades. The songs and cadence used have their origin from Southern black workers laying track. What is also similar is the cadence used in the military during training as anyone who has ever served in the military will remember.
Located within DPI’s Documentary collection is the Americana gallery on page one. This gallery contains two extensive Event collections which we want to bring to your attention. On page two in this gallery in the “1930s” event which includes many images taken during the Great Depression. There are 66 pages within this event providing hundreds of images. Likewise in this gallery located on page five is our “People” event. Here there are 99 pages displaying hundreds of images. Both events should provide numerous selections for your needs.
A rare image worthy of special recognition is this American Indian couple on the streets of Lawton, Oklahoma taken several months before statehood in 1907.
Jacob Riis is considered to be one of the founders of social documentary photography. His work “How The Other Half Lives” (1890) documented living conditions in the tenements of Manhattan. He along with Lewis Hine have set a standard that is hard to duplicate. Riis’ photograph “Peddler Who Slept in the Cellar of 11 Ludlow Street” (1892) is shown below. It is one of the most famous images taken by Riis. We believe that our photo “Woman Asleep on the Floor“; Alabama c.1951 closely represents Riis’ style. We hope that he would approve.
Pray for the victims of Hurricane Florence. We are, all of us, in this together. Today, residents in the Carolinas are suffering, but tomorrow disaster could befall anyone. Do whatever you can to help. Staying silent is not acceptable. The lead photo is not from Hurricane Florence of course, but it does demonstrate the vulnerability of living near flowing water. That includes just about all of us. We call this photo “Sandbags“; U. S. c.1940. As the river is rising will the sandbags hold?
Always room for one more. If you do the crime, you’ve got to do the time. No one is above the law. True that Alcatraz is no more than a tourist attraction these days, but it once housed the most notorious criminals in our society. DPI’s prison collection contains more images of Alcatraz as well as other prisons some not so well known. Seen below is an image we call “Workin’ On The Chain Gang” taken in Florida in 1936.
Photo was taken during an anti-Vietnam War rally c. 1969. Funny how what goes around comes around. Education, vigilance and courage are the keys. How better to illustrate the issue than through the innocence of a child.
May the Force be with you. I wanna be a Spaceman. Will our Starship Troopers be similarly outfitted? Hey, it’s a bug planet! A little humor in times like these may help. Probably inspired by Flash Gordon, but that may be going back too far for some of you. Sometimes I wish that they could just beam me up, Scotty.
They could have been you. They could have been me. Refugees present a humanitarian crisis wherever and whenever to include the current situation on our southern border. Presented here are Polish refugees made homeless not once but twice in a generation. As a result of geography, Poland has experienced invasions in two world wars from both Germany and Russia. The lead photo shows Polish refugees on the road during the Great War c.1916. Perhaps some of the same people are seen below as they are once again forced to flee the Nazi invasion in September 1939