During the 1930s the U.S. Government commissioned a huge photography project to document the Great Depression and in doing so created some of the most iconic and enduring images of American life. I really fell in love with a set of photos of the White Motor Company from my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and I thought it would be cool to make my own personalized calendar from the images. Lucky for me the files are available in high enough resolution to print a normal size calendar through the Apple printing service. I selected about 14 of my favorite pictures (which seem to be copyright free, at least for this clearly non-commercial use) laid everything out in iPhoto and submitted the job straight through to Apple. About two weeks and $28 later I was in business.
More information about the photographs from the Library of Congress:
The black-and-white photographs of the Farm Security Administration–Office of War Information Collection are a landmark in the history of documentary photography. The images show Americans at home, at work, and at play, with an emphasis on rural and small-town life and the adverse effects of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and increasing farm mechanization. Some of the most famous images portray people who were displaced from farms and migrated West or to industrial cities in search of work. In its latter years, the project documented America’s mobilization for World War II. The collection includes about 164,000 black-and-white negatives; this release provides access to over 160,000 of these images. The FSA-OWI photographers also produced about 1600 color photographs.
The White Motor Company calendar was a nice way to celebrate some of these amazing and iconic images, not to mention my own hometown’s wartime industrial strength. I’m already thinking of a railroad worker themed 2011. [Additionally, do like me and be sure to thank the LOC for the personal pleasure (and totally non-commercial use) of their photos. Donate online here.]
Here’s a better look at the gent in the above image.