Photographs of The Great Depression
In the beginning of 1929, people across the United States were scrambling to get into
the stock market. The profits appeared so assured that even many companies placed
money in the stock market. And even more problematically, some banks placed
customers' money in the stock market (without their knowledge). With the stock market
prices on the rise, everything seemed great. When the stock market crash hit in
October, these people were taken by a bombshell.
After nearly a decade of hopefulness and success, the United States was thrown into
anguish on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day of the stock market crash and
the official ...view middle of the document...
These pictures are from the FDR
Library, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
An iconic photo of the time by photographer Dorothea Lange "Migrant Mother," is one of
a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and
her children in February or March of 1936 in California. Lange was finishing a month
long trip photographing migratory farm laborer’s in the state of California when she took
this photograph. It was taken with a Graflex camera. The original negatives are 4x5"
black and white film. This woman( Florence Owens Thompson) with her children were
destitute in a pea picker's camp, because of the failure of the early pea crop.
Lange gave this account of the experience:” I saw and approached the hungry and
desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my
presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made
five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her
name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they
had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the
children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that
lean- to tent with her...