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A Look Back at Depression-Era Texas and Texans

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Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A former stagecoach driver and elder resident of Crystal City sits for a portrait in March of 1939.
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Credit John Vachon/Library of Congress
A look at the Texas State Capitol in March of 1943, including the now-familiar Paramount sign, which was reinstalled last month.
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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A worker at the Corpus Christi Air Base in December of 1940.

This week, Yale released an archive of 170,000 photos collated in an interactive map. The project, dubbed Photogrammar, compiled photos taken by the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information to offer a rare look into the Great Depression and the manufacturing boom that followed as the U.S. entered World War II. 

The Farm Security Administration started out as the Resettlement Administration, part of the New Deal, and aimed to provide assistance to the country's poor agricultural workers. The Office of War Information was formed as an intelligence agency at the start of World War II, and the Office also produced and distributed propaganda materials — including photographs — to try to change Americans' perceptions of the war. 

Below is a peek at some of the most striking photos of Texas and Texans. 

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Credit John Vachon/Library of Congress
Welder Dorothy Mason was a welder for the Beaumont transit company and her husband served in the U.S. Army in World War II.

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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A view of a San Antonio relief line in March of 1939.

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A boy whiffs at a pitch during a baseball game in early 1942 at a Farm Security Administration camp in Robstown, near Corpus Christi.

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Credit John Vachon/Library of Congress
Workers leaving the Pennsylvania Shipyards in Beaumont in June 1943.
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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A closer look at a San Antonio relief line from March of 1939.

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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A soda jerk flips ice cream into a milk shake in Corpus Christi in 1939.
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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A San Angelo milk truck driver as he begins his morning in November of 1939.
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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A child picks spinach in a La Pryor field in March of 1939.
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Credit John Vachon/Library of Congress
A worker at a carbon black plant in Sunray in 1942.

    

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Credit John Vachon/Library of Congress
A young woman works at a Beaumont creosoting plant in 1943.

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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
Two boys in Waco's Market Square in November of 1939.

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Credit Fritz Henle/Library of Congress
A view of the inside of a Phelps Dodge Refining Company plant in El Paso, one of the most productive copper refineries during World War II.
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Credit Howard R. Hollem
A woman operates a lathe at an aircraft plant in Fort Worth in October of 1942.
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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A view of the campaign vehicle for Edwin Waller, Jr., the son of Austin's first mayor, in San Marcos in March of 1940.
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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A group of boys sit in front of a fire in Robstown in 1939.

  

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Credit Howard R. Hollem
Virginia Davis trained as a riveter at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Base along with her husband, who was later called up to serve in World War II.
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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A man breaks ice in La Pryor in March of 1939.

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Credit Russell Lee/Library of Congress
A group of young people enjoying ice cream in San Augustine in April of 1939.
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Credit John Vachon/Library of Congress
A group of children in school outside of San Augustine County in 1943.

    

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