“An old house almost hidden by sunflowers, Rodney, Mississippi,” July 1940, by Marion Post Wolcott on Kodachrome color film, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division on flickr.
I like the little birdhouse on the very tall pole.
Rodney was once a prosperous port on the banks of the Mississippi — until a large sand bar appeared in the 1870s and changed the course of the river. The city was left two miles from the water.
By 1933, there were fewer than 100 people living there. Today, it is considered a ghost town.
A few beautiful Kodachrome images of the season. . .
“Exhibit of crops and vegetables at the Pie Town, New Mexico, Fair,” 1940, by Russell Lee.
The story of Pie Town and of the photos Lee took there is here, in Smithsonian Magazine.
Mrs. Jim Norris canning vegetables, Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940, by Russell Lee. (You can click on the image to enlarge it.)
“Display of home-canned food,” between 1941 and 1945, photographer not noted.
All three images were taken for the U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information on the then new Kodachrome color transparency film. All via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Oh! for a thousand pumpkin seeds,
To plant for my son John;
He says that pumpkin pies are good
When the winter time comes on.
— Robert Charles O’Hara Benjamin, from “The Farmer’s Soliloquy“
“Porch of old house at Monroe St., Mobile[, Alabama],” taken November 4, 1941, by Charles W. Cushman.*
The atmosphere of this porch is still and quiet, but I think there’s something urgent about the conversation. The expression of the young woman in pink is serious; the woman across from her has stopped on her way (in or to her own house?) from the grocery store. They all listen intently to the older woman in light blue.
Cushman was an amateur photographer who began documenting his travels in 1938, using expensive, (then) little-used Kodachrome film. He continued taking color pictures for 32 years, ultimately bequeathing 14,500 slides to his alma mater, Indiana University.
NPR has an interesting audio/slide show on Cushman and his work here, and here is a series of color photos of New York City that he took in the early 1940s.
*Used with the permission of the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection, Indiana University Archives. I originally posted this image in November 2012.