1935: Outside Water Supply in DC


July 1935. “Outside water supply, Washington, D.C. Only source of water supply winter and summer for many houses in slum areas. In some places drainage is so poor that surplus water backs up in huge puddles.” These municipal water taps (or pumps — they have crank handles) appear in several photos from this series. I wonder if any survive. 35mm negative by Carl Mydans

Found at Shorpy

Dorothea Lange – 1939, Motherless family in Yakima Valley

Saw this photo over at reddit and it really pulled at my heartstrings.


The oldest of the children in this photo by Dorothea Lange takes care of the others in her migrant family, most likely while the father is working in the fields. She is stunningly beautiful, but carries a heavy and unwanted load on her young shoulders.


Another image of the middle child, wearing a sack dress.


“Youngest little girl of motherless family.” Toppenish in the Yakima Valley of Washington State. August 1939. Photograph by Dorothea Lange. Seen at Shorpy.

Poverty of this nature still exists in our country, let alone the rest of the world, but these images are a stark reminder of a very difficult time for our nation.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Night Pharmacy, 1921


Washington, D.C., circa 1921. “People’s Drug Store, Seventh & K, night.” With a lurid display of “trusses and rubber goods.” National Photo Co.

Pharma Noir, Found at Shorpy

I recall that trusses and other things were big sellers in pharmacies in the 50s and 60s when I was growing up in New York. What’s with that? Were more people suffering from herni√¶ back then, or was it the fad of the times, like all the weight-loss nostrums are today? Interesting at any rate. Oh, and the Dr. Scholl’s corn pads and things, too.

The Old Wolf has spoken.