Wherever I look recently, I see changes. I went looking in the Digital Public Library of America and every photo I happened to pull up was related to some kind of change.
A big part of it was migration.
Sometimes people would go running toward a change–like the homesteaders or the California Gold Rush. But in the majority of cases, the change wasn’t really voluntary. It was brought about by need and circumstances. You can see the fatigue (and at times the fright) in the older people’s faces, but the children’s faces are often bright and curious.
Twins Elsie (1889-1981) and Lela (1889-1962) Scott were two of seventeen children of Exodusters John and Julia Scott. The Scotts migrated from Louisiana to Indiana and then to Stafford County, Kansas. This photograph was taken at the W. R. Gray Studio in St. John, Kansas in 1910.
I’m guessing this family was forced to migrate north to find work. But if you notice, people in the 1920s and 1930s always managed to dress well and look good, whether they had money or not.
Not every change was about physically moving, of course. Sometimes the changes were related to how they lived and worked, or learning new things.
I love this picture. Partly for the wallpaper but mostly because of the dad at the head of the table. Notice the rifle on the mantle behind him!
It’s too bad this one is so grainy. Most classrooms were not integrated in the early 1920s. Looks like this one was an all boys class.