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April 27, 2019

Everyday Life of the US During WWII Through Jack Delano's Lens

Born 1914 as Jacob Ovcharov in Voroshilovka, Podolie Governorate, Russian Empire (now Vorošýlivka, Ukraine) and moved, with his parents and younger brother, to the United States in 1923, American photographer Jack Delano worked for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and was also a composer noted for his use of Puerto Rican folk material.

After graduating from the Academy, Delano started working as a freelance photographer in Philadelphia and New York. He also developed an interest in films, and together with his future wife Irene Esser started making short documentaries.

Impressed by the work of famous photographers like Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, Delano applied for a job with the historical section of the FSA (Farm Security Administration) in 1940. For the next years he traveled throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. All through this time Delano’s primary assignment was to document the social and working conditions of people in FSA projects. All of this was happening during the Second World War, and Delano was drafted in 1943.

Delano traveled throughout the South Pacific and South America before being discharged in 1946.

These amazing photographs Delano took for the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information that documented everyday life of the US during WWII.

Connecticut. 75¢ Thanksgiving. On a main street in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. A Glimpse of Thanksgiving. At the Crouch family Thanksgiving Day dinner, Ledyard, November 1940

Connecticut. A Woman window shopping on a rainy day in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. All Downhill. Children sledding in Jewett City, November 1940

Connecticut. Five & Dime. Main street intersection in Norwich on a rainy day, November 1940

Connecticut. House Rooms. Norwich on a rainy day, November 1940

Connecticut. Main street intersection in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. Mercury on Main. A rainy day view of a main street intersection in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. Passengers Anonymous. People in a bus on rainy day in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. Playing in Traffic. Two Children playing in snow in Norwich, November-December 1940

Connecticut. Rainy Day Chaperone. Coming home from school on a rainy day in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. Rainy Day Confidential. Waiting for a bus in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. Scene in Colchester, November-December 1940

Connecticut. Shelter for Two. Main street intersection in Norwich on a rainy day, November 1940

Connecticut. Snowdust. Street in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. Traffic Cop. Norwich on a rainy day, November 1940

Connecticut. Wet Crossing. Norwich on a rainy day, November 1940

Connecticut. What Are Friends For. Norwich on a rainy day, November 1940

Connecticut. Young school girl waiting for a bus on a rainy day in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. Youth in Winter. Street in Norwich, November 1940

Connecticut. Yuletide Derby. The main street of Derby decorated for the Christmas season, December 1940

Illinois. Chicago Noir. Special agent making his rounds at night at the South Water Street freight terminal of the Illinois Central Railroad, Chicago, May 1943

Illinois. Crossroads of the World. Union Station concourse showing display the flags of the Allied Nations, Chicago,
January 1943

Illinois. Shedding Light. In the waiting room of the Union Station, Chicago, January 1943

Illinois. Steel Thunderbolts. A Steam and a diesel engine at the Union Station yards in Chicago, January 1943

Illinois. Union Arch. Exit of the underground tunnel through Union Station which is used by taxis and trucks, Chicago, January 1943

Iowa. It's Been Good to Know Ya. Wolfsmith waves good-bye. Freight ops of the Chicago & Northwestern RR between Chicago and Clinton, January 1943

Maine. Saturday afternoon on main street in Caribou, October 1940

Maine. Two of the Dumond children at the back door of their home in Lille. The family are French-Canadian potato farmers and Farm Security Administration clients, October 1940

Massachusetts. Nocturne. A Foggy Night in New Bedford, 1940

Massachusetts. On Little Cat Feet. Foggy Night street scene in New Bedford, 1940

Massachusetts. Working Class Hearths. A Syrian neighborhood near the shipyards. Slum area where many shipyard workers live. Winter Street, Quincy, December 1940

New Mexico. Workin' on the Railroad. Portrait of Abbie Caldwell, employed in the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad yard to clean out potash cars, Clovis, March 1943

North Carolina. Map Quest. Florida migrants studying a road map before leaving Elizabeth City for the state of Delaware, 1940

North Carolina. Night Owls' Roost. A hamburger shop in Durham. George's Grill, open all night, May 1940

North Carolina. The Long Shadows. Traffic on the main street of Fayetteville, North Carolina at about five o'clock, when the workers start coming out at Fort Bragg, March 1941

North Carolina. Workmen's Lunch. Migratory agricultural workers having supper at the store in Belcross, 1940

Pennsylvania. Knocking Off. The end of the afternoon shift at the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation in Aliquippa, January 1941

Pennsylvania. Sunday Best. Congregation of a Black church in the mill district of Pittsburgh, January 1941

Rhode Island. Torrential. On a rainy day in Providence, December 1940

Texas. Streamline Intersection. View of Main Street in Fort Worth, January 1942

Texas. View of the tarmac at Meacham Field, Fort Worth, January 1942

Vermont. A Conversation. On the main street of Bellows Falls, August 1941

Virginia. Roadside Style. Migratory agricultural worker waiting at the Little Creek end for the Norfolk-Cape Charles ferry, July 1940

Virginia. Sailor Man. On board the 'Princess Anne' super-deluxe luxury liner ferry plying between Little Creek, Virginia (Norfolk) and Cape Charles, 1940

Washington, D.C. At a truck service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue), 1940

Washington, D.C. Blue Plate Lunch. In the cafe at a truck drivers' service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue), June 1940

Washington, D.C. Free sleeping quarters for truck drivers at a truck service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue), June 1940

Washington, D.C. Instant Messaging. Direct postal telegraph wire at a truck service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue), 1940

Washington, D.C. Pit Stop. In the cafe at a truck drivers' service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue), June 1940

(Photos © Jack Delano)



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