Threshing crew in the Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August 1936

Emory University
Published September 4, 2012

This series of Carl Mydans photographs depicting wheat farmers in the Tygart Valley of West Virginia struck us as particularly interesting, so we decided to post it as this week's set of featured images. While scouring the Library of Congress's Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives Collection, I came across the first image in the series, which seems to traffic in nostalgic visions of an agrarian landscape filled with small farmers. However, the sequence of photographs below actually shows how West Virginia farmers combined old and new technologies of agricultural production during the Great Depression. More of Mydans's photographs from the Tygart Valley can be found on the Library of Congress website.

Carl Mydans, Threshing crew loading bundles, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-000720-M3.
Carl Mydans, Threshing crew loading bundles, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-000720-M3.
Carl Mydans, Threshing, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-000723-M2.
Carl Mydans, Threshing, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-000723-M2.
Carl Mydans, Untitled, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-000722-M5.
Carl Mydans, Untitled, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-000722-M5.
Carl Mydans, Threshing, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-000723-M5.
Carl Mydans, Threshing, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-000723-M5.
Carl Mydans, Threshing crew, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prinsts and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-00723-M3.
Carl Mydans, Threshing crew, Tygart Valley, West Virginia, August, 1936. Library of Congress Prinsts and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-00723-M3.
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