America, 1920s-30s, in color

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  • Arizona - A group of cowboys exit a plane in Phoenix

    Arizona - A Hopi Indian and his burro stand at the edge of a high mesa, near Walapai

    Arizona - An informal portrait of Nampeyo, a famous Hopi potter

    Arizona - Dude ranch guests pretend to be cowboys

    Arizona - Portrait of a Hopi Indian holding one of the baskets she's made

    Arizona - Portrait of Hopi Snake Clan priest adorned in paint and ornaments

    Arizona - Two men stand by a car in a field looking at the nearby canyons, Moenkopi Wash, Western Navajo Indian Reservation

    California - A family on the bank of a water body with a view of a cliff waterfall, Yosemite

    California - A man repairs a light on the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

    California - A woman picks wildflowers in a Paso Robles field

    California - A woman poses in rippled sand dunes near Crescent City

    California - A woman stands at the edge of a pond observing the view, near Mount Shasta

    California - Fishing boats in a San Francisco Harbor with the city as a backdrop

    California - Lumbermen conversing among fallen giant redwood trees, Scotia

    California - Woman adorned like a Chinese goddess poses in a garden

    Connecticut - A tobacconist poses next to his statue of a Native American Indian, Danbury

    Florida - A child and an adult stand by a tiled sea horse at the Carillon Tower, Iron Mountain

    Florida - A girl gets into a car in front of a house covered in Flame vines, Tarpon Springs

    Florida - A young woman stands by a garden full of poinsettias beside a house, Coral Gables

    Florida - Crowds form at a Miami Beach pool for a swim competition

    Florida - Six women sit on a St. Petersburg beach with the water behind them

    Florida - The guests play "Obstacle Golf" on the lawn of a Davis Island hotel, Tampa Bay

    Florida - Two girls pose with rifles, dressed for the Gasparilla Carnival, Tampa

    Hawaii - A group of surfers on Waikiki beach pose leaning against their boards, Honolulu, Oahu Island

    Indiana - A group of women hold bouquets of Gladiolus, near Goshen

    Iowa - Men harvest corn in a Polk County field

    Iowa - Women compare an original painting with its reproduction, Red Oak

    Louisiana - A Choctaw Indian woman makes baskets from palmetto leaves, near Lacombe

    Louisiana - A girl sits spinning cotton into yarn in preparation for cloth

    Louisiana - A group of people from a Natchitoches art colony paint ouside

    Louisiana - A view of a street in the French Quarter, New Orleans

    Louisiana - A woman sits outside the doorway of New Orlean's Absinthe House

    Louisiana - A woman sitting on stone steps in The French Quarter, New Orleans, sells pralines

    Louisiana - An informal portrait of a young New Orleans boy eating watermelon

    Louisiana - Children gather by a vendor selling "snowball" treats, New Orleans

    Louisiana - Five boys sit together, eating large watermelon slices, New Orleans

    Louisiana - Two Creole women standing in the doorway to their Uptown home, New Orleans

    Louisiana - A vendor sells pralines in the French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Maryland - A child and her dog walk down the dock to meet the mail boat, Tylerton

    Maryland - A group of actors portray an exhibit at The Fair of the Iron Horse, near Baltimore

    Maryland - The Fair of the Iron Horse, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad exhibit. The "Atlantic", circa 1832. Locomotive and two coaches.

    Maryland - Pilots inspect their planes at the Congressional Airport, Maryland

    Maryland - Women relax on Smith Island, weaving fabrics and talking

    Mississippi - A group of dancers perform at the Mississippi State College for Women, Columbus

    Mississippi - A woman admires pictures at the Lauren Rogers Gallery, Laurel

    Mississippi - A woman works in a factory testing radio instruments, Greenwood

    Mississippi - A young girl removes raw fiber from spools to spindles for weaving, Hattiesburg

    Mississippi - High school bands march on Capital street for an annual contest, Jackson

    Mississippi - Women hold seven flags at site of historic lighthouse in Biloxi

    Mississippi - Women walk down a spiral staircase in an ancestral home, City Park, Natchez

    Mississippi - Young women have tea in a French inspired mansion

    Montana - A chief on the Crow Indian Reservation

    Montana - A Crow Indian child wears a buckskin dress of beads and teeth, Crow Indian Reservation

    Montana - A portrait of the Indian 'Red Tomahawk', Crow Indian Reservation

    Montana - An informal portrait of 'Red Tomahawk', Crow Indian Reservation

    Montana - An informal portrait of the Indian named "White man runs him", Crow Indian Reservation

    Montana - Native American children pose on a blanket

    Montana - Portrait of a Flathead chief adorned in strips of the popular ermine, Glacier National Park

    Montana - Sioux Indians pose in the feather headdresses, Crow Indian Reservation

    Montana - Three men stand in front of a plane on the Crow Reservation

    New Hampshire - People set out for a straw ride from the Old Toll House, Crawford Notch

    New Mexico - A portrait of a Native American wearing turquoise earrings, Santa Fe

    New Mexico - A Taos Indian pueblo rests on the hill behind women in the foreground

    New Mexico - A tourist stops to get directions from a cop in Questa

    New Mexico - A view of the development built up around Elephant Butte Reservoir

    New Mexico - Cochiti Indians sit on the stairs to a kiva, Cochiti

    New Mexico - Portrait of a Taos Indian chief with war bonnet, Taos

    New Mexico - Pueblo woman puts bread into an oven in preparation for corn dance, Laguna

    New Mexico - Water carrier stands on ladder in Acoma pueblo balancing jug on head

    New York - A family live in a trailer at Fish Creek Tourist Camp

    New York - A view of New York City's Brooklyn Bridge

    New York - A view of New York City's Hudson River

    New York - A view of Washington Square at Fifth Avenue, New York City

    New York - An aerial view of New York City

    New York - Commuters stop to look at hardware for sale along downtown streets, Manhattan

    New York - People sit around a fountain in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City

    Ohio - A view of two train tracks up Price Hill, Cincinnati

    Ohio - Coastguardsmen go out in their boat, Ashtabula

    Ohio - Experimental planes are parked in line at Wright Field, Dayton

    Ohio - Four women stand beside an apple stand at a fair in Loundonville Agricultural Fair, Loundonville

    Pennsylvania - Veterans of the Civil War pose at High Water Mark memorial, Gettysburg

    Pennsylvania - Wisteria blooms where General Lee marched his men in battle, Gettysburg

    Rhode Island - A view of a business block in New Port resembling English buildings

    Rhode Island - People relax on the beach in front of a new bathing casino, Newport

    South Dakota - Boys pose outside a sod roof house at the Pine Ridge Reservation

    Tennessee - An Appalachian man converses with an Indian in front of a log cabin, Great Smoky Mountains, Near Gatlinburg

    Tennessee - Highlanders play and sing old mountain tunes

    Tennessee - Two couples have a cookout in Cherokee National Forest

    Tennessee - Women stencil on cotton fabric, Memphis

    Texas - A cowgirl parks her horse at a meter in downtown El Paso

    Texas - A farmer washes carrots with a water hose, Lower Rio Grande Valley

    Texas - A group of cowgirls and trick riders watch a rodeo in Fort Worth

    Texas - A group of women dress in costume to greet women off a Pan Am flight, Brownsville

    Texas - A man shovels sulfur in storage bins on the docks of Galveston

    Texas - A Mexican family sits outside their thatch-roof home, near Brownsville

    Texas - A pistol team of the Border Patrol practices their shooting, Laredo

    Texas - A trick rider poses with her blue pony at the San Antonio rodeo

    Texas - A view of the court, saloon and store near Langtry

    Texas - A woman displays varying stock models of a cowboy boot manufacturer, Fort Worth, Texas

    Texas - A woman feeds a parking meter in El Paso

    Texas - A woman picks dates along the lower Rio Grande valley, San Benito

    Texas - A woman stands next to a sign at the end of the International Bridge, Brownsville

    Texas - A young girl poses in a "China Poblana" costume, San Antonio

    Texas - A young girl stands in costume at the archway to her home, Brownsville

    Texas - Cowboys and riders sit along a fence at the San Antonio Rodeo

    Texas - Girls pose in Mexican costume and frilly headdresses, Brownsville

    Texas - Men load storage bins with sulfur on the docks of Galveston

    Texas - Three girls attend a rodeo in Fort Worth

    Texas - Two border patrol officers attempt to keep a fugitive in the US near El Paso

    Texas - Woman wears China Poblana, man wears Charro garb of gentleman rancher, Brownsville

    Texas - Women attend an archery class at the University of Texas

    Texas - Women talk to the pilot of a large airliner, Brownsville

    Vermont - A woman picks various flowers from a wide field, between Tyson and Ludlow

    Vermont - Oxen plow where machinery is impractical

    Virginia - A large group of actors relax and talk on the lawn at Monticello

    Virginia - A mountaineer family poses in front of a cabin, Dark Hallow, Shannondoah National Park

    Virginia - A woman admires the Potomac running over the boulders in Great Falls

    Washington - a gas station in front of the Capitol

    Washington - A woman looks at fruit from a vendor in front of the U.S. Capital

    Washington - Three girls pose in front of a fountain near the Washington Monument

    Washington DC - Employees of the government work to print money, Bureau of Engraving and Printing

    West Virginia - A glass-blower works on a vase in his shop, Milton

    West Virginia - Four boys bob for apples, Martinsburg

    West Virginia - Governor Holt crowns the Forest Festival queen, Elkins

    West Virginia - Two girls sit in front of an apple display in the shape of a turkey, Martinsburg

    All images are original colour autochromes drawn from National Geographic’s image collection.

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    16 comments to America, 1920s-30s, in color

    • Riot Nrrrd™

      As an American these are incredible photos to see. The NatGeo site looks a bit impenetrable - thanks so much for ‘curating’ these images for us all to see so easily (and alphabetically!).

    • Laura Orabone

      Amazing photos - surreal to see these in color. Doesn’t seem so long ago…. Just one small typo (but it appears at least twice) - it’s Fort Worth, Texas, not Forth Worth.

    • Claire

      Some additional ID information:

      “Florida - Crowds form at a Miami Beach pool for a swim competition” was taken at the Roman Pools:

      “California - Woman adorned like a Chinese goddess poses in a garden”. Lotus gardens were very popular in 1930′s Los Angeles. Given the carefully composed photo, I would hazard a guess that this was taken at China City (even though it didn’t open until 1938):

      “California - A family on the bank of a water body with a view of a cliff waterfall” could be Upper Yosemite Falls.

    • Chris

      Thank you, Laura. I have corrected the typos. The typo exists in the National Geographic records as well.

    • Jennifer

      Wonderful, wonderful post. One minor correction from Florida : The woman getting out of the car in Tarpon Springs is in front of a flame vine, not a bigonia vine (I have the same vine clambering over my garage).

    • Jennifer

      ….Also, the carillon tower on Iron Mountain, Bok Tower, is to this day meticulously preserved, as are its splendid gardens.

    • Chris

      Thanks Jennifer, I loved creating it. These 125 were whittled down from 500 images.

      I have changed the Bigonia to a Flame.

    • Estelle

      Tea dresses and Mary Jane shoes - a lot of the clothes here look like clothes being worn now. So strange to think that it is around 90 years ago.

    • M ichael

      very interesting , and great shots. Love the one of the girl in Dutch dress and clogs.

    • Kate Fisher

      LOVE! your shots. You might want to re credit “A family on the bank of a water body with a view of a cliff waterfall” could be Upper Yosemite Falls.

      Thats definitely Yosemite, one of my favorite places on the planet :)

    • Emily

      Great pictures! Another quick note- the famous Hopi potter’s name is Nampeyo, not Nanpeo. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photographs!

    • Dana

      I’m from Louisiana and a bit *confused* about the Louisiana girl in Dutch dress and clogs. The spinning-cotton part I do understand; I read an article in the newspaper back home about traditional Cajun crafts, including work with cotton. They’d grow it in their backyards. Often it was colorgrown cotton, yellowish or brown.

      The Dutch thing though… I don’t get that. Maybe Acadian costume was similar to Dutch at some point?

    • Jim

      Fascinating. I can tell you that the sreet scene of Newport, Rhode Island looks exactly the same today, except that the cars are a bit more modern.

    • Chris

      Hi Dana - that is the title given to the original autochrome. It would be great to find out more

    • Chris

      Thanks Emily. That is the name used by National Geographic’s records, and I’ll change it straightaway.

    • Chris

      Thanks Kate. I have added a reference to Yosemite.

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