Ruston, Washington

“Children play in yard of Ruston home, while Tacoma smelter stack showers area with arsenic and lead residue,” August 1972, via The U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

The photo was taken by Gene Daniels for DOCUMERICA, an early photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is shown here with its original caption.

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.

Point Pleasant, W.Va.

“A [river] pilot’s wheel stuck in the backyard of a retired pilot’s home,” Point Pleasant, West Virginia, May 1943, by Arthur S. Siegelvia Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Point Pleasant lies at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. Siegel was working along the rivers on assignment for the U.S. Office of War Information. He photographed the U.S. Coast Guard patrol, steam and tow boats, and industrial plants, particularly the Marietta Manufacturing Company, which was constructing LT boats for the army.

Industry

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Vegetable gardens beside workers’ housing; factory in the background, place unknown, between 1941 and 1942, color slides by unknown photographer for the U.S. Office of War Information, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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It was suggested by commenters on the photos’ flickr pages that the factory is for steel and the location is Pittsburg or Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.