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Category: FSA/OWI

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 …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Double Take: Familiar Faces

Posted by: Kristi Finefield

Many entries in the Double Take series, where we look a little closer at images, come out of the steps I take to answer reference questions in my daily work. Recently, in response to a question seeking a photo of a particular building, I was browsing about 300 photographs of Dubuque, Iowa, from the Farm …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Foshay Fireworks

Posted by: Jan Grenci

One image from my latest Flickr album on fireworks really caught my eye. It is a 1929 postcard of the dedication of the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis, Minnesota: The three day dedication event in August and September of 1929 included fireworks. When I first saw this postcard, I knew nothing of the Foshay Tower.  Now …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Reflections of Dorothea Lange

Posted by: Jan Grenci

Each month, I gather images from the holdings of the Prints & Photographs Division for a Flickr album. The albums have a theme, the most recent one being Women Photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI). It features the work of Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Dorothea Lange, And Marion Post Wolcott. As …

Parishoners [sic] of St. Thomas Church resting after spending many hours preparing food for a benefit picnic supper. Near Bardstown, Kentucky. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott, 1940. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a43010

A Different Wrinkle: Representation of Older Women in P&P Collections

Posted by: Melissa Lindberg

The following is a guest post by Barbara Orbach Natanson, former Reference Section Head, Prints & Photographs Division. Being a woman of a certain age myself, I recently began to wonder how and where older women are depicted in Prints & Photographs Division collections. Naturally, even in embarking on such an exploration, one has to …