American Life: Rare Color Photographs During WWII

Black and white photographs always seem to be stuck in the past, giving us an often unrealistic perspective on how long ago events really were. Think about it, most of us know someone who was alive during the 1940s, many of them fully grown members of society. For them life during World War II was a vibrant one full of memorable experiences, both challenging and enjoyable. These images, taken by photographers working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI), make the war years look much more recent using one rare tool of the time: color film.

Containing approximately 1,600 color images, the collection of photographs range from 1939 to 1944 and capture a country awakening from a long depression and galvanized into action by the threat of war. In a time of change, women work in factories doing jobs previously reserved only for men; revolutionary new weapons are tested; and the quiet rural countryside began transitioning towards industrialization like never before. Enjoy this selection of 30 images from the collection, then view them all at The Library of Congress.


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