Images of the Dust Bowl
Images of the Dust Bowl: Photographs by the Farm Security Administration 1930-1939.
Click on any image to start slideshow.
Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm. Cimarron County, OK. April, 1936. Photo by Arthur Rothstein.
Dust bowl farmer raising fence to keep it from being buried under drifting sand. Cimarron County, OK. April, 1936. Photo by Arthur Rothstein.
Son of farmer in dust bowl area. Cimarron County, Oklahoma. April,1937. Photo by Arthur Rothstein.
Occupied farm. Dalhart, Texas, 1938. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Occupied farm (second view). Dalhart, Texas, 1938. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Abandoned farm. Dalhart Texas, 1938. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Three Related Oklahoma Refugee Families Stalled on the Road, 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange
Family walking on highway, Oklahoma, 1938. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Car of Texas drought refugee family. Arrived in California 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Homeless man carrying belongings. Napa Valley, CA., 1938. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Children of migrant cotton field workers from Sweetwater, Oklahoma in front of their home near Casa Grande, AZ. May, 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange
Destitute pea pickers in California. March, 1936. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Migrant agricultural worker’s family. California, March, 1936. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Billboard in California Sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers. 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange
Drought refugees from Oklahoma looking for work in the pea fields of California. San Jose Mission, CA. March, 1935. Photo by Dorothea Lange
Dust Bowl refugee woman washing clothes in California migrant camp. 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Home of Oklahoma Dust Bowl refugees in California. 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Migrant children in Ramblers’ Park. Yakima, Washington, 1939. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Southwest Oklahoma family enroute to wheat harvest, 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
“Toward Los Angeles.” March, 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Roadside stand and filling station. Ennis, Texas. 1937. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
In the 1930s, tens of thousands of farm families fled the area affected by the Dust Bowl. Tens of thousands more tenant farmers and sharecroppers from places untouched by the Dust Bowl were forced off the land by falling crop prices and the increasing use of machines to perform farm labor. These people formed a mass migration of the displaced who traveled the country desperately seeking work, often living in terrible conditions.
The photographs on this page are from the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection of Photographs and Prints housed in the Library of Congress. The Resettlement Administration (later, the Farm Security Administration) was formed in 1935 as part of the New Deal effort to alleviate widespread rural poverty and ease the plight of displaced farmers.
As part of their mission, The Farm Security Administration employed photographers and writers to document the lives and grinding poverty of the people they were trying to help. The FSA photographers–among them Dorothea Lange and Arthur Rothstein–produced some of the most iconic images of the victims of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression.
The full Library of Congress FSA-OWI photograph collection can be viewed here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures
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