The Great Depression In Color

Even though “recession” is a word that many of us may be familiar with, “great depression” (the financial kind) will not. It came after World War I when the economy seems to grow and grow — but it was one of those unfortunate economic bubbles — and then crash, leaving many poverty-stricken. Imagine the effects of a recession multiplied many times over and affecting almost all the population of a country.

As the country started to recover (yes, the economy goes in a cycle), the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information sent about 12 photographers (including John Vachon, Jack Delano, Russell Lee, Marion Post Wolcott, John Collier and Arthur Rothstein) to document “Bound for Glory: America in Color.” The photographers were starting to experiment with color film in 1939 and shot on Eastman Kodak Co.’s Kodachrome film, first introduced in 1935.

The original goal of the government project was to record, through documentary photographs, the ravages of the Depression in America’s rural areas and was intended to spur Congress and the American public to support government relief efforts. With an improved economy, increased industrialization and the onset of World War II, the photographs increasingly focused on an America that was productive, beautiful and determined.

View the images at: dailymail.

Read and view more images at: Library of Congress.