The front window


“Mrs. Herman Perry in her home at Mansfield, Iron County, Michigan,” May 1937, by Russell Lee, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Look through the net curtains at her tomato plants in tin cans. I wonder if she really waited until the average last frost date* for zone 18 — which is currently between July 1 and 10 — to put them in the ground.

Lee took the photo on assignment for the U.S. Farm Security Administration. Mrs. Perry was “the wife of an oldtime iron miner who worked in the mines before they were abandoned.”


*The average first frost date is between September 1 and 10.

Boston, Massachusetts

“‘City farmer’ tends garden in the Fenway, administered by the 600-member Fenway Civic Association. Four hundred twenty-five personal gardens are tilled on these five acres in Metropolitan Boston, [Massachusetts],” May 1973, by Ernst Halberstadt, via U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

This photo was taken for DOCUMERICA, an early photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

From 1972 to 1977, the EPA hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.” They created an archive of about 20,000 images. In addition to recording damage to the nation’s landscapes, the project captured “the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements,” according to the Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013.

San Francisco, California

Palace of Horticulture, Panama-Pacific International Exhibition, San Francisco, California, 1915, an autochrome by an unknown photographer, via George Eastman Museum Commons on flickr.

The Exhibition was open from February to December 1915 and celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914. It also showcased the city’s recovery from the devastating 1906 earthquake. Its palaces and halls were built on a 635-acre site along the city’s northern shore, between the Presidio and Fort Mason.

“Constructed from temporary materials (primarily staff, a combination of plaster and burlap fiber), almost all the fair’s various buildings and attractions were pulled down in late 1915,” according to Wikipedia.

The Sunday porch: Montgomery, Alabama

“Early dwelling, 222 S. Perry St.,” Montgomery, Alabama, 1939, by Frances Benjamin Johnstonvia Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The porch woodwork pattern is echoed in the little attic windows. Click to enlarge.

A huge vine is growing beside the steps, but it seems to go up into the tree on the left, rather than onto the porch.

The sidewalk is tiled in a simple geometric pattern. The effect, with the arches of the porch and basement windows, is a little Moroccan/Andalusian.

The house no longer stands.