Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

Posts tagged ‘great depression’

U. S. c.1934

INFLATION

Welcome to a brand new year! Worried about inflation? The time to worry about inflation is if it were to turn into hyperinflation such as seen in Weimar Germany following World War I. The opposite of inflation is deflation as we can see in the photo “The Coffee Shop“; U. S. c.1934 during the Great Depression. Lunch for 25 cents! But few people had the 25 cents. You don’t want to see that now do you? Then there was 25% unemployment. Today, everyone is hiring but many jobs have no applicants. Inflation? We can handle it!

EGYPTIAN COTTON WORKERS

A look at the struggle of Egyptian cotton workers during the Great Depression. The sack of cotton weighed 120 lbs. Workers were paid the equivalent of 10 cents/day. In today’s economy it does not sound like a living wage, but during the Great Depression salaries in the U.S. were only a few dollars/day. In that sense it was probably just a living wage for these cotton workers.

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (1932)

You think we have it rough now? Let’s take a look back for a moment. A World War, the Spanish flu which killed 675,000 people in our country that was only 40% of today’s population, discrimination, poll taxes, literacy tests, Jim Crow, the second coming of the Ku Klux Klan and the Great Depression. That’s about as rough as it gets, and it is clear from these photos “Birmingham, Alabama (1932)“. Research indicates that this was Aunt Harriet’s house. The destruction of the fireplace is evident by the pile of bricks seen in the first and third photos. Perhaps they were to be re-used elsewhere, so this scene in the second photo predates the first and third photos. Anyone want to trade places?

Pennsylvania (May 15, 1937)

A VERY SPECIAL LADY

This photo would be typical of those taken from the Farm Security Administration’s collection in the Library of Congress in our opinion. But it does not come from their collection. She belongs to DPI. Moreover, I would argue that this style is similar to that of Russell Lee, one of the great FSA photographers from the 1930s. For us to add this image to our collection was a no-brainer.

 

Amish Woman With A Washtub“; Pennsylvania (May 15, 1937).

The Manhattanite

THE MANHATTANITE

In the midst of the Great Depression this woman prizes her two dogs. She seems economically untouched by the despair in the land. I think that many of us have seen some people take better care of their pets than their children. Lucky dogs!

West Virginia c.1931

HOMAGE TO JACOB RIIS

For me the connection was instantaneous. I guess it was the brick wall. Jacob Riis documented the plight of the poor and their living conditions in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Required reading is his work How the Other Half Lives (1890). A good number of his photographs contain brick walls. We hope that he would approve of this presentation, “The Empty Box“; West Virginia c.1931.