Months ago, Abby Kinchy,  Eden H., Aydrea of The Oreo Experience, and Dmitriy T.M. all sent in a link to a striking set of Great Depression and World War II era photos posted at the Denver Post. Unlike most of the photos many of us are familiar with that depicted life during that time, most of which were black and white, these were taken in color. Here are just a few of the 70 photos; I highly suggest you go look at the Denver Post site, where the photos are much larger.

[Children gathering potatoes on a large farm. Vicinity of Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.]

[Children in the tenement district. Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.]

[Chopping cotton on rented land near White Plains. White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, June 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.]

[African American's tenant's home beside the Mississippi River levee. Near Lake Providence, Louisiana, June 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.]

This one struck me because the two individuals in the photo are identified as “migrant workers,” and yet they seem so young:

[African American migratory workers by a "juke joint". Belle Glade, Florida, February 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.]

[Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.]

[Shasta dam under construction. California, June 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.]

I was trying to decide why the images were so fascinating, and I think Dmitriy hits on part of it:

What strikes me the most (besides awesome pictures) was how much my perception of the depression years was filtered by only viewing it through the black and white (aka dreary) pics. When I see these color pictures, not only does it seem less depressing and dreary, but the people seem to be more like me (and not just an image from a long, lost era).

The full set includes a range of topics, set both in rural and urban areas, including both images of poverty and of industrial productivity. Quite fascinating.

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