Posts tagged photographs.

World War II-Era Kodachromes

These images are stunning. Not only do they showcase a few of the millions of “Rosie the Riveters” who worked in the defense industry during this time, but they do so in such brilliant quality. Kodachrome film was first sold in 1935, but it was discontinued in 2009, though its legacy through photos like these (plus iconic images like “the Afghan Girl”) still lives.

Most of the images are from Shorpy, but they were compiled here, where many other lovely images of 1940s America can be found.

May 26, 1895: Dorothea Lange is born.

Dorothea Lange was a prominent American photographer who worked most extensively through the Great Depression, during which she photographed the unemployed and homeless for the Resettlement Administration, and later the Farm Security Administration. One of her most famous photographs - “Migrant Mother" (actually one in a series of photographs) - is one of the most iconic of that era.

During World War II, Lange was assigned by the War Relocation Authority to cover the rounding up and internment of Japanese-American - in fact, if you see a photograph of that event, it’s likely a Dorothea Lange piece. Dozens of her photographs, especially those that portrayed conditions within the camps, were impounded and censored by the U.S. government. 

Though she was a native of New Jersey, Lange spent a substantial amount of her career working in California, and in 2008, she was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, stating that “her passion for people and the art of photography left us with era-defining images of 20th century America.”

Images from Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives (1890).

One half of the world does not know how the other half lives.

Jacob Riis, one of the earliest and most famous practitioners of the “muckraking”-style of journalism, was born in Denmark on May 3, 1849; he immigrated to New York in 1870, where he was able to experience first-hand the terrible conditions of overcrowded, disease-ridden city slums. His influential photojournalism publication (and later book) How the Other Half Lives helped expose to the American public these conditions. Theodore Roosevelt, at the time a New York City police commissioner, met Riis in 1894 and, according to Riis’s autobiography, was deeply affected by his book. The future governor of New York and later president called Riis “the most useful citizen of New York”.

The American Civil War in Numbers

Number of soldiers who fought on the Union side: 2,130,000
Number of soldiers who fought on the Confederate side: 1,100,000

Number of soldiers who died on the Union side: 360,000
Number of soldiers who died on the Confederate side: 260,000 (these numbers include deaths from disease). 

Most casualties in one battle: The Battle of Gettysburg, with 51,000 casualties and 7,000 dead (x)
Most casualties in a one-day battle: The Battle of Antietam, with 22,700 casualties and 3,600 dead.

Number of enlisted African-Americans in the Union Army: 180,000 (and 20,000 in the Navy) (x)
Number of enlisted African-Americans in the Confederate Army: (disputed) although thousands served as laborers and servants.

Official salary (per month) of a Union private: $13 (x)
Official salary (per month) of a Confederate private: $11
Official salary (per month) of a black Union private: $10, later $7.

Number of POWs captured: 400,000
Number of Union soldiers who died in Andersonville Prison: 13,000 (x)
Total number of soldiers who died in prison camps: 56,000 (x

Direct cost (in terms of government expenditures): $3.3 billion (x)
Indirect cost: $3.7 billion  

Beginning date: April 12, 1861
End date: April 9, 1865
Total time: 1459 days