Photographs taken by the U.S. government more than 75 years ago that offer a vivid look at early-1940s America are currently on display at Haverford College, writes Peter Crimmins for WHYY.
In 1940, photographers were sent around the country to document events during that turbulent time in history. The photographers were employed by the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information and provided with equipment to do their survey in color.
The Haverford exhibit covers the time when America was recovering from the Great Depression and entering the war, when industrial lifestyle started taking over.
Back then, Kodachrome color film was completely new. It would not become available to the average consumer until decades later.
“This is the first time Americans could see themselves in color,” said William Williams, professor of art at Haverford College.
These pictures were never printed by the government. Instead, the 1,600 color slides were boxed and seemingly lost for decades. They were accidentally rediscovered by a historian who published them in 2004 in the book Bound for Glory: America in Color. Now, the images are downloadable from the Library of Congress website.
The exhibit will run until April 28.
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