20+ Powerful, Bleak Photographs From the Dust Bowl

The 1930s came down hard on all of America, but the Great Plains area got it even worse with the advent of the Dust Bowl. This giant drought, a disaster for America’s breadbasket, made life unendurable for Midwesterners. Put out of farm work, people became migrant workers, trekking to California in search of jobs. At the time, photographers like Dorothea Lange began documenting American lives and struggles through the camera lens, capturing tragedies like Depression and Dust Bowl.

Collected here are photos of undernourished and sick children, homeless families, desolate farms, and storms engulfing the land in dust. As blunt and shocking they may look to you today, imagine how much they astonished those Americans living at that time.

Machinery Buried By Dust In South Dakota, 1936

Photo:  Sloan /Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

A Farmer And His Family Trudging Through A Storm, Oklahoma, 1936

Photo:  Arthur Rothstein/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Dust Storm Approaching Stratford, Texas, 1935

Photo:  NOAA George E. Marsh Album/Brian0918/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Young, Migratory Mother, California, 1940

Photo:  Dorothea Lange/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Topsoil Eroded On Farm, Kansas, 1930s

Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Dust Storm Approaching Rapidly, Oklahoma, 1935

Photo: National Archives And Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain Mark 1.0

A Farmer’s Son Amidst Devastated Land, Oklahoma, 1936

Photo: Arthur Rothstein/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Laborers’ Squatter Camp, California, 1940

Photo: Dorothea Lange/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain Mark 1.0

Cultivating What Remains Of The Cotton Crop, 1930s

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Eroded Farmland, 1930s

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Dried-Out Farmland, Oklahoma, 1930s

No higher resolution available. Dust_Bowl_in_Texas_County,_Oklahoma.jpg ‎(728 × 519 pixels, file size: 141 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

A Farmer Inspecting His Land, Colorado, 1938

Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

A Dust Storm (AKA “Black Blizzard”), South Dakota, 1934

Photo: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Child With TB On Crutches, Oklahoma, 1935

Photo: Dorothea Lange/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain Mark 1.0

Resettled Farm Child, New Mexico, 1935

Photo: Dorothea Lang/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain Mark 1.0

Another Dust Storm Rolling In, Kansas, 1935

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain Mark 1.0

Migrant Worker Mom With Kids, California, 1936

Photo: Dorothea Lange/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Wind-Eroded Farmland, Kansas

Photo: NRCS Photo Gallery/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Homeless Family Trekking To Find Work, California

Photo: Dorothea Lange /Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Heading To Los Angeles For Work, California, 1937

Photo: Dorothea Lange/Flickr/No known restrictions

Awful Water Erosion, Alabama

Photo: USDA/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

A Dust Storm Rolls Over A Main Street, Washington DC

Photo: USDA NRCS Photo Gallery/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Sharecropper Floyd Burroughs, Alabama, 1935-1936

Photo: Walker Evans/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Dust Bowl Winds Pile Up Against Barn In Kansas

Photo: Arthur Rothstein/Library Of Congress/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Dust Bowl Dune, circa 1936

Photo: NOAA National Weather Service/Public Domain

Dust Over Texas, circa 1935

Photo: Russell Lord/NOAA’s National Weather Service/Public Domain

Dust Over Dakota, circa 1935

Photo: Russell Lord/NOAA’s National Weather Service/Public Domain

Dust Bowl, Texas Panhandle, March 1936

Photo: Arthur Rothstein/Library Of Congress/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Reference

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