Thursday, August 12, 2010

"America in Color, 1939-1943"

In its "Captured" series, the Denver Post has published a selected group of color photographs of the Depression-era United States, "America in Color, from 1939 to 1943." 

Women workers, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company, Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. (from color slide; photo by Jack Delano), Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (no. 54 in Denver Post exhibit).

The 70 images presented by the Post are part of a collection taken by photographers from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information.  Held as slides by the Library of Congress, they are among the few sets of color images available showing the effects of the Depression and the beginning of the Second World War on rural and small town life in the United States.

A steel mill under construction, Columbia Steel Co., Geneva, Utah, November 1942 (from color slide, photograph by Andreas Feininger) (Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, no. LC-DIG-fsac-1a34847 DLC).

The complete collection of 1,600 color images, as well as a much larger collection (160,000 items) of black and white photographs can be found on-line as a segment of the LOC's American Memory Project, "America from the Great Depression to World War II"—black and white photos indexed here and color photos here.  Though presenting only a small fraction of the total LOC collection, the Denver Post site provides sample images collected on one Web page; on the LOC site, images are found individually though a search procedure.