Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Photos From The Past

The Library of Congress has a Flickr page where they posted several hundred amazing color photographs from the 1930s and 1940s. Not only were they rare full color pictures, but they were deep insights into how this country lived seventy years ago. As i looked through the over 1600 photos I began to have a sense of deja vu as I had been to many of these places or seen things like them. Here are some of the more jarring juxtapositions with one photographer in particular:

This photo by Jack Delano shows a woman painting the scenery along the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah mountains. 

Seventy years later the place is just as popular for the scenic artisl.

 The Chicago lakefront was once a bustling railyard with skyscrapers overlooking them as shown in this photo, also by Jack Delano..

Now this area is the site of Millennium Plaza and the Art Institute of Chicago even though the train tracks still run through. Can you find Metropolitan Tower in both photos?

 Many of the photos in the archive are of industrial settings or trains like this one by Jack Delano taken in Chicago as well.

Now these trains just sit in museums and train graveyards like this one in New Mexico.

I found it odd that I kept being drawn to the photos of Jack Delano. Delano eventually moved to Puerto Rico where he took this street view.
 When I went to San Juan, the streets were the same only with fresher paint and newer cars.

I seem to have found a kindred spirit in Jack Delano who worked for the Farm Security Administration Photography program during the Great Depression taking photographs of simple working folk all over the country. He died in Puerto Rico in 1997 but somehow I feel as if his soul still lives on.


Tina said...

I love this. Thanks!

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