The Library of Congress is another great resource for studying American history via photographs. The most popular and iconic images of the early 20th century are almost always seen in black and white. Interestingly, though, the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information in the 1930s and 1940s actually did have photographers shooting across the country with color film. These depression-era color images are now property of the Library of Congress, and they offer a considerably less abstract glimpse into this tumultuous time in America. The use of black and white film and its inherent abstraction made it somehow more difficult to relate to subjects in photographs. In color, though, the stark reality shines through and makes these images quite powerful. Thanks to the Denver Post for uploading a huge selection of them to its Plog photo blog. blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2010/07/26/captured-america-in-color-from-1939-1943/2363
Photo by Jack Delano, courtesy Library of Congress.