Photo of the (Past) Moment: Not a Streetcar, But…


This is one of 70 remarkable images selected by the Denver Post photo blog that provide a marvelous window into America, and Americans, about 70 years ago. No, they’re not all train pictures, either (though there are a half dozen or so rail shots and a few of war planes). Mostly, they are pictures of people at work or at home, taken by photographers from the federal Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information, using what was then a new and remarkable image technology.

Those who only know Kodachrome from the Paul Simon song have the wrong impression. It didn’t just bring us “those nice bright colors,” it captured a reality unlike any earlier technology, whether somber or sunny. These 70 photographs are worth savoring, one at a time, for what they say about the America – and Americans – of that day, and about a remarkable product much beloved by so many photographers who used it for more than half a century to capture memorable images. Take a look at these photographs when you have time to really look.


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