Friday, March 23, 2012

1940s Color Photographs

I want to know what 1940 looked like in Mineral Ridge, Ohio. Or Niles, or Youngstown, or Warren, Ohio. I can look at newspapers and find a few images; see advertisements for clothing, food, other necessities. But there are no color photographs like the one at right.

As I was sorting through some old emails tonight I found one from a friend who sent a link to a Denver Post website, Captured: America in Color from, 1939-1943. There are several dozen photographs that were taken on slides, some of the only color photographs of the time. They are some of clearest old photographs I've seen (and nothing like the little snapshots in any of our family albums!). Photographers include Jack Delano, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, John Vachon, and others.

In this photograph people are standing outside the newspaper office where headlines have been written on large sheets of paper and hung in the windows of the office. "Prince Calls on Roosevelt." "Billy Hill Is Dead, Aged 41." "New Earthquake Hits Brockton." "War News. Urges Italians to Oust Mussolini." (Click on the photo to enlarge it, then click again to make it even bigger and read the news.)

This photo was taken by Jack Delano in December, 1940, a little later than the census but it gives me a view into the times, as do the others at the Denver Post website.

At Wikimedia Commons I found more of Jack Delano's photographs, many available for download and public use. He documented the effects of the Depression; rural life including homes, farming, and community events; preparations for war, support for the war, and the war effort; and people at work.

I would like to jump back into those times -- but only as an observer, I think. How about you?


  1. Wow, that's a great collection of 1940s color photos indeed!

  2. Great photo! It looks like a cold, crisp day :)

  3. Wow- I love the website. There are so many great 1940s photos on there!


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...