Item #17739 Original Photo Archive of Migrant Workers in the West. Photo Archive Migrant Labor.
Original Photo Archive of Migrant Workers in the West
Original Photo Archive of Migrant Workers in the West
Original Photo Archive of Migrant Workers in the West

Original Photo Archive of Migrant Workers in the West

Photo Archive

Archive of 5 original silver gelatin photographs of migrant workers in locations around the Southwest such as California's Central and Coachella Valley and Las Vegas. These Press Photos range from 9" x 7" to 11" x 6" inches. The photos date from 1958-65. The first photo in the lot depicts children of jobless migrant workers scooping water from an irrigation ditch in an encampment of hundreds of unemployed migrant workers 65 miles northeast of Las Vegas. These families were stuck in this encampment due to crop failures in Arizona and a late harvest in Nevada and were forced to drink contaminated water from irrigation canals. The next photo in the archive depicts another migrant laborer encampment, in Mendota in California's Central Valley. The caption on verso reads: "Many single men live in small cabins like these in East Mendota. They are counted as community problems." The photo depicts a series of one room cabins and a few broken down cars in a littered with debris. A 1965 photo from the Coachella Valley in California has three older migrant laborers in the foreground who are discussing working conditions. In the background, a large group of workers lines up at the farmer's truck to receive their pay. In the accompanying article, a California employment official spoke on the shifting nature of employment in migrant labor, with single unattached men being supplanted by men with families who nonetheless have to travel from harvest to harvest. Finally, a gripping 1965 photo shows a mother, a child, and her doll against a desert backdrop. The mother is unnamed - she is referred to only as Mrs. Henry Pennington - and is holding her daughter Angel Pennington in a tender and lonely shot. Mrs. Pennington looks quite aged for someone with such a young child, with significant wrinkling and graying hair, undoubtedly due to years spent picking under the sun. This combination of image and caption exemplifies the precarity and deprivation faced by these workers and their families: "Angel Pennington, 4, holds the only things in her young life she can be sure of -- her doll and her mother, Mrs. Henry Pennington, and her ragged clothes." The laborers pictured in this archive often faced deplorable living conditions, strenuous and exploitative labor, social marginalization, while carrying out a crucial and thankless service. However, by the time the later photos were taken, a movement led by and for farm workers, including the iconic Cesar Chavez, was gaining in size and strength and would confront many of the issues this group faced. These original press photo taken by photojournalist within tight timeframe for the benefit of particular editorial board and with the aim of usage by the press to illustrate an article often affected public opinion in the nation. Overall in very good condition.

Item #17739

Price: $450.00