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Category: FSA/OWI

When the Bench Breaks

Posted by: Jan Grenci

It’s the time of year to enjoy eating in the great outdoors! Last week, a Flickr album of images of picnics launched. I included a photo very similar to this one in the album: The photos were taken in August of 1940 by Marion Post Wolcott when she was working for the Farm Security Administration …

Here’s Looking at You, Mom

Posted by: Jan Grenci

The following is a guest post by Kate Fogle, Assistant Curator of Photography, Prints & Photographs Division. Mom. Simple to say, this monosyllabic version of ‘mother’ entered the American lexicon in the mid-1800s, and its ease of use has yet to waver, as moms throughout the U.S. can attest. It’s a palindrome that conveys comfort …

Hats On For Easter

Posted by: Jan Grenci

The following is a guest post by Kate Fogle, Assistant Curator of Photography, Prints & Photographs Division. Bunnies and baskets. Two words heard often this time of year. With the Easter holiday nearly upon us, the consumer push to provide a bountiful Easter, even to the youngest of children, is felt by most parents I …

Of Postcards and Postage

Posted by: Jan Grenci

I love postcards. I send them, collect them, and even make them. In my latest Flickr album, You’ve Got Mail, I included a 1939 photo of what was described as the “largest postcard ever sent through the mail.” A regular postcard cost one cent to mail in that year. I spot an interesting error in …

Shave and a Haircut: The Blog

Posted by: Jan Grenci

The barber pole is an internationally recognized symbol of the barbering trade. In my latest Flickr album, Shave and a Haircut, you will see a small selection of images of barber poles from the Prints and Photographs Division. The collections hold many more photos than I could use in the album. This is the kind …

Stacked potato barrels creating a totem pole in the main street.

You Say Potato…I Say Pototem!

Posted by: Kristi Finefield

While searching our collections for a photo, I came across the following image and my natural curiosity required me to zoom in and read the text: Because I didn’t grow up in a region known for potato farming, it was surprising to learn of potato barrel rolling as an event! I absolutely had to find …

Special Delivery: Railway Express Agency

Posted by: Jan Grenci

Take a look at this colorful poster, designed by Robert E. Lee, a California-born painter and commercial artist who lived in New York City, and published in 1929. The company advertised on this poster, the Railway Express Agency (REA), was an American package delivery service. Operating between 1918 and 1975, they used railroads as one …

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Posted by: Jan Grenci

My latest Flickr album features photographs of signs from across the United States taken by Carol M. Highsmith from the late 20th century to the present day. In this blog post I’d like to focus on some older photos of signs taken for the Farm Security Administration in the late 1930s and early 1940s by …