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Pie Town, 1940

Pie Town, New Mexico, is a town with a population of about two hundred that’s named for its famous baked goods. Pie Town photographs, along with 164,000 others taken by F.S.A. photographers, are now stored at the Library of Congress. Russell Lee’s made his photographs in 1940, while on assignment for the Farm Security Administration.
Lee, who had trained as a chemist and then as a painter, was assigned to take pictures “of most anything he can find.” He made six hundred images that give a look at the daily life of a small desert community. Many photographs are color Kodachromes.

It was the time of the Great Depression when lower commodity prices crippled domestic prosperity and price declines destroyed the purchasing power of farmers and other primary producers.
Jack Whinery, homesteader, and his family, Pie Town, New Mexico
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School children singing, Pie Town, New Mexico

School children singing, Pie Town, New Mexico

Photograph shows signsCraig Motor Co., Standard Oil, and Magdalena Drug Co.

Grace was said before the barbeque was served at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair

Grace was said before the barbeque was served at the Pie Town, New Mex...

Photo shows 1935 Ford parked in background. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009)

Main Street, Pie Town, New Mexico

Main Street, Pie Town, New Mexico

Photograph shows building signs: Cafe, Store, General Merchandise.

Jack Whinery, homesteader, and his family, Pie Town, New Mexico

Jack Whinery, homesteader, and his family, Pie Town, New Mexico

Photograph shows Jack Whinery (1907-1994) with his wife Edith and their five children, Wanda, Edith, Velva, Jack and Lawrence in his father's lap. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2015)

Serving up the barbeque at the Pie Town, New Mexico, Fair

Serving up the barbeque at the Pie Town, New Mexico, Fair

Photo shows in background from right to left: a 1938 Chevrolet, a 1938 Pontiac, and a 1940 Ford. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009)