14 Rare Color Photos From the FSA-OWI
Even today, many documentary photographers will tell you they are influenced by the works of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and 40s. Under the direction of Roy Emerson Stryker, the FSA sent photographers to document the plight of the rural farmer during the Great Depression and the progress of New Deal programs. When the U.S. entered World War II, the photography program continued under the Office of War Information (OWI).
The best-known FSA photographs are in black and white. Less commonly seen are the color photos by FSA and OWI photographers, shot between 1939 and 1945. Below we present a selection from the works Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection.
Photo by Russell Lee. Jack Whinery and his family, homesteaders, Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940.
Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Carpenter at work on Douglas Dam, Tennessee, a Tennessee Valley Authority project, 1942.
Photo by John Vachon. Boy near Cincinnati, Ohio, 1942 or 1943.
Photo by Marjory Collins. A “camouflage class” at New York University, where men and women are preparing for jobs in the Army or in industry by making models from aerial photographs and work out camouflage schemes, 1943.
Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Woman machinist, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, California, 1942.
Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. A member of a construction crew building a new 33,000-volt electric power line into Fort Knox, Kentucky, 1942.
Photo by Jack Delano. Sharecroppers chop cotton on rented land near White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, 1941.
Photo by John Vachon. Dr. Schreiber of San Augustine giving a typhoid inoculation at a rural school, San Augustine County, Texas, 1943.
Photo by Russell Lee. Barbeque dinner at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair, 1940.
Photo by Alfred T. Palmer. Crane operator at the TVA’s Douglas Dam, Tennessee, 1942.
Photo by John Vachon. Workers leaving Pennsylvania shipyards, Beaumont, Texas, 1943.
Photo by Jack Delano. James Lynch, a roundhouse worker for the Chicago and North Western Railway Company , Proviso Yard, Chicago, 1942.
Photo by Jack Delano. Vermont state fair, Rutland, 1941.
Photo by Arthur Rothstein. An instructor explains the operation of a parachute to student pilots, Meacham Field, Fort Worth, Texas, 1942.