Jack Delano’s Photos of The Massachusetts Winter 1940-1941

Jack Delano's photographs of tough times in Massachusetts

January 1941. "Textile mill working all night in New Bedford, Massachusetts

January 1941. “Textile mill working all night in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Jack Delano’s portraits of bootleg Pennsylvania cola miners caught the eye of Paul Strand, who recommended him to Paul Stryker, director of the Farm Security Administration. In late 1940 and early 194, Delano recorded life in Massachusetts.

 

Jack Delano- Sylvia Sweets Tea Room, Brockton, Massachusetts, ca. 1941

Jack Delano- Sylvia Sweets Tea Room, Brockton, ca. 1941

 

“To do justice to the subject has always been my main concern,” Jack Delano wrote in his autobiography Photographic Memories. “Light, color, texture and so on are, to me, important only as they contribute to the honest portrayal of what is in front of the camera, not as ends in themselves.”
– Jack Delano

 

Store going out of business. Lowell, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Store going out of business. Lowell, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Jack Delano was born Jacob Ovcharov in 1914 in Voroshilovka, Ukraine. in 1923 he family fled and began new lives in Philadelphia. His new name was the result of his admiraion for the boxer Jack Dempsey and classmates urging him to adopt a less foreign surname; one girl suggested her own. Jack Delano was made.

 

Jack DElano Men and a woman reading headlines posted in street-corner window of Brockton Enterprise newspaper office on Christmas Eve, Brockton, Mass. Dec 24 1940

Men and a woman reading headlines posted in street-corner window of Brockton Enterprise newspaper office on Christmas Eve, Brockton, Mass. Dec 24 1940

 

Jack Delano William Green, Raynham, Massachusetts. He lives on a farm with his mother, who has fifteen cows and ten acres of land. Mr. Green has six children and works as a policeman at nearby Camp Edwards Jan 1941

William Green, Raynham, Massachusetts. He lives on a farm with his mother, who has fifteen cows and ten acres of land. Mr. Green has six children and works as a policeman at nearby Camp Edwards Jan 1941

 

“I thought the camera could be a means of communicating how I felt about the problems facing the country and that therefore I could perhaps influence the course of events. I thought I could portray ordinary working people in photographs with the same compassion and understanding that Van Gogh had shown for the peasants of Holland with pencil and paintbrush.”
– Jack Delano

 

Brockton, Mass., Dec. 1940, second-hand plumbing store

Brockton, Mass., Dec. 1940, second-hand plumbing store

 

Mr. and Mrs. Ovgen Arakelian, Armenian vegetable farmers in West Andover, Massachusetts. They have an eleven-acre farm and a son works in a blanket factory in Lowell to help support the family Jan 1941

Mr. and Mrs. Ovgen Arakelian, Armenian vegetable farmers in West Andover, Massachusetts. They have an eleven-acre farm and a son works in a blanket factory in Lowell to help support the family Jan 1941

 

Street corner, Brockton, Mass. Jan 1941

Street corner, Brockton, Mass. Jan 1941

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Ovegen Arakelian, Armenian family in West Andover, Massachusetts Jan 1941

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Ovegen Arakelian, Armenian family in West Andover, Massachusetts Jan 1941

 

I think the great thing about the Farm Security photographs, regardless of the artistic merit of any individual photograph, is that they were all being done in a search for the heart of the American people. This is what we were skirting all the time and feeling the pulse of the nation through its people.
Jack Delano

 

Jack Delano massachusetts

Near the waterfront, New Bedford, Massachusetts

 

Madonna in front of church on a street in New Bedford, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Madonna in front of church on a street in New Bedford, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Massachusetts Jack DElano

Children in the tenement district, Brockton, Mass. December 1940

Children in the tenement district, Brockton, December 1940

Employees entering textile mill in New Bedford, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Employees entering textile mill in New Bedford, Jan 1941

Bringing home some salvaged firewood in slum area in New Bedford, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Bringing home some salvaged firewood in slum area in New Bedford, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Employees leaving Ayer Mills (textile). Lawrence, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Employees leaving Ayer Mills (textile). Lawrence, Jan 1941

Textile mill working all night in Lowell, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Textile mill working all night in Lowell, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Mrs. Richard Carter, poultry farmer of Middleboro, Massachusetts. She runs the poultry business of one thousand while her husband drives a bulldozer at an Army camp nearby Dec 1940

Mrs. Richard Carter, poultry farmer of Middleboro, Massachusetts. She runs the poultry business of one thousand while her husband drives a bulldozer at an Army camp nearby Dec 1940

Mr. and Mrs. Melkon Loosigian, Armenians. Run a fourteen-acre vegetable farm. Son works in Arlington mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to help support family. West Andover, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Mr. and Mrs. Melkon Loosigian, Armenians. Run a fourteen-acre vegetable farm. Son works in Arlington mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to help support family. West Andover, Massachusetts Jan 1941

New Bedford, Massachusetts. Foggy night October 1940

New Bedford, Massachusetts. Foggy night October 1940

Men going to work at the mill. Lawrence, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Men going to work at the mill. Lawrence, Massachusetts Jan 1941

Children in the tenement district, Brockton, Mass. Dec 1940

Children in the tenement district, Brockton, Mass. Dec 1940

Skating, vicinity of Brockton, Mass. Jan 1940

Skating, vicinity of Brockton, Mass. Jan 1940

Commuters, who have just come off the train, waiting for the bus to go home, Lowell, Mass. Jan 1941

Commuters, who have just come off the train, waiting for the bus to go home, Lowell, Mass. Jan 1941

Jack Delano (August 1, 1914 – August 12, 1997) – red more in his autobiography Photographic Memories.