Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, coming out of his dugout home, Pie Town, New Mexico
WWII color photographs. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs from the Library of Congress. The original images are color transparencies ranging in size from 35 mm. to 4x5 inches. Photographers working for the U.S. government's Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) between 1939 and 1944 made approximately 1,600 color photographs that depict life in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The pictures focus on rural areas and farm labor, as well as aspects of World War II mobilization, including factories, railroads, aviation training, and women working.
Pie Town, New Mexico, is a town with a population of about two hundred that’s named for its famous baked goods. Pie Town photographs, along with 164,000 others taken by F.S.A. photographers, are now stored at the Library of Congress. Russell Lee’s made his photographs in 1940, while on assignment for the Farm Security Administration. Lee, who had trained as a chemist and then as a painter, was assigned to take pictures “of most anything he can find.” He made six hundred images that give a look at the daily life of a small desert community. Many photographs are color Kodachromes. It was the time of the Great Depression when lower commodity prices crippled domestic prosperity and price declines destroyed the purchasing power of farmers and other primary producers.