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Farm Photos of 1940 IN COLOR!

Updated on January 21, 2011

Farming in the Past

These High Quality Early Color Photographs are Special

Seventy year old Color photographs bring these scenes to life and almost take the observer right into the action. The quality of these pictures certainly belies their age.

These photographs were shot in color -- they are not "colorized" black & whites. Enjoy...there are not many good quality color pictures of rural America from the late 1930’s and early 1940’s in existence, but here are a few.

See if these great pictures wow you like they did me.

A nice stand of oats is shown being combined in Georgia in 1940. The Farmall H looks fairly new, as does the combine. Both models had only been available for a couple of years.
A nice stand of oats is shown being combined in Georgia in 1940. The Farmall H looks fairly new, as does the combine. Both models had only been available for a couple of years. | Source
Small grains, like oats, were dried in shocks, prior to the advent of combines and bin dryers. The top bundle was laid across the rest to shed rain and they were later hauled to the barn for hand or mechanical threshing.
Small grains, like oats, were dried in shocks, prior to the advent of combines and bin dryers. The top bundle was laid across the rest to shed rain and they were later hauled to the barn for hand or mechanical threshing. | Source
This 1942 photo shows a farmer unloading ear corn at the Ellis Feed Store in Georgia.  The corn would be ground into a grist for livestock so there was no need to shell it from the cob.  The trailer is hooked to a Ford sedan.
This 1942 photo shows a farmer unloading ear corn at the Ellis Feed Store in Georgia. The corn would be ground into a grist for livestock so there was no need to shell it from the cob. The trailer is hooked to a Ford sedan. | Source
If you needed garage services in 1942 in Wisdom Montana, you had a choice of two, and they were side-by-side. The glass jar gas pumps showed the customer the amount of gas being purchased and allowed him to spot any water or dirt in the product.
If you needed garage services in 1942 in Wisdom Montana, you had a choice of two, and they were side-by-side. The glass jar gas pumps showed the customer the amount of gas being purchased and allowed him to spot any water or dirt in the product. | Source
Horses take a break from pulling the manure spreader in this ca.1941 picture. The gas pump probably means that their days of providing the farms pulling power are waning. The location is unknown.
Horses take a break from pulling the manure spreader in this ca.1941 picture. The gas pump probably means that their days of providing the farms pulling power are waning. The location is unknown. | Source
This 1940 photo in Melrose Louisiana shows a full service facility. Signs indicate that it was a grocery store, juke joint, a gas station, and a beer garden. They also sold "Dental Snuff" whatever that was.
This 1940 photo in Melrose Louisiana shows a full service facility. Signs indicate that it was a grocery store, juke joint, a gas station, and a beer garden. They also sold "Dental Snuff" whatever that was. | Source
Just a picture of a  little girl with an apron full of eggs and a disapproving hen  but this speaks volumes about childhood back then. She doesn't seem to mind at all that video games haven't yet been invented (in 1941). Location unknown.
Just a picture of a little girl with an apron full of eggs and a disapproving hen but this speaks volumes about childhood back then. She doesn't seem to mind at all that video games haven't yet been invented (in 1941). Location unknown. | Source
In 1940 these weren't antique autos -- they were the everyday drivers of farm workers in Delta County, Colorado. The giant hay rick had probably provided shade for the autos earlier in the day.
In 1940 these weren't antique autos -- they were the everyday drivers of farm workers in Delta County, Colorado. The giant hay rick had probably provided shade for the autos earlier in the day. | Source
Big time food production was getting underway in 1942 at the Seabrook Farm in Bridgeton N.J. The big Cat is pulling a gang of disk harrows in a future field of string beans. A nearby cannery would process the crop.
Big time food production was getting underway in 1942 at the Seabrook Farm in Bridgeton N.J. The big Cat is pulling a gang of disk harrows in a future field of string beans. A nearby cannery would process the crop. | Source
Children gather potatoes on a large farm, near Caribou, Maine. Schools didn't open until the potatoes were harvested. Date: 1940.
Children gather potatoes on a large farm, near Caribou, Maine. Schools didn't open until the potatoes were harvested. Date: 1940. | Source

Seventy Years Ago ... Really?

Farms that had survived the Great Depression were in for some better times during the 1940s as World War II brought about demand for anything that could be produced. Most farms now had electricity and enough modern machinery to ease the war shortage of farm labor.

After the war, another great migration to the cities began as farms got bigger and fewer in number. Farming was now "Agriculture" and later "Agribusiness." Little girls get eggs at the store now, not from a cranky leghorn's nest.

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