Long Before Cell Phones

Long before cell phones were available there was a need for teams of individuals to maintain the huge numbers of individual telephone lines that criss-crossed the countryside.

This is an image taken as part of the Farm Security Administration Survey around 1939. I came across it when searching the Library of Congress several months ago and I thought it was such a great shot, showing everyday work, including improvising a safety beam with a tree branch! The original version had quite a few issues with fibers, lines, dust and other marks on it so I spent several hours cleaning up this PD image. When I was finished I also made a black and white version.

I share them both below although I still think the color image is better, as I like the sky and the earth tones of the guys’ clothing. What do you think?

160924_linesmencolor160924_linesmenbw

~Richard

4 thoughts on “Long Before Cell Phones

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    1. Thank you! It was an unbelievably grimy image with scratches, dust and other artifacts on it. I guess the guys at LOC son’t really worry too much when they scan these. It took me a few hours in GIMP to clean it up but I’m please with the finished version.

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