“Garden – lot 9, block 11. . . . Garden of $20 a month home,” Fairfield, Alabama, 1917,
via Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Fairfield was a planned community built in 1910 for the workers of U.S. Steel’s plants in the Birmingham area. Its (mostly white) residents could either rent or purchase modern houses with indoor plumbing and central heating. There were also parks and playgrounds, churches, a public library, and 30,000 newly planted trees and shrubs.
The photograph is one of over sixteen thousand created or collected by Frank G. Carpenter and his daughter, Frances, to illustrate his geography textbooks and popular travel books.