York Town Square

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York County farm/factory photos on federal website: ‘I was mesmerized by what the site contains’

This 1939 photograph shows a typical farm scene in York County in 1939. It comes from the camera of Marion Post Wolcott and can be found in the Library of Congress’ Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information collection along with scores of other York County scenes. Can anyone locate this scene? It’s could be many places in York County but how about perhaps along the Susquehanna Trail in south of Loganville? It had to be a major road because many York County roads were just being paved in those days. (See additional photographs below. This FSA series might help you ID this scene). Also of information: Fed photogs captured wonderful York County World War II images and ‘The Commons’ plays host to wonderful vintage photos and York County photo collection adds to historical record.

York countian Jo Ott came across a treasure trove of photos that captivated her for an hour.
It was the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information collection that indeed swallows you up and brings you back to another day.
I used the collection heavily in my World War II history “In the Thick of the Fight,” particularly the York Safe & Lock photos in the collection. And you’ll find more information on the collection in this post: Noted U.S. photo archive captures York County, Pa., treasures .
Here is Jo’s email showing her fascination, which I’m certain you’ll share:

An auctioneer conducts a sale at a York County farmhouse in this photograph from 1939.

I cannot begin to explain how I ended up in this website while doing research on the internet this afternoon, but I did, and am amazed what it contains. Several thousand photos of farm scenes, but mostly of WWII factory photos of Yorkers building guns and other equipment for the war effort. Specifically, photos taken inside the York Safe & Lock Company, and some workers in a few photos are identified by name. There are also many photos taken inside a company called Floorola Products, which made floor cleaning equipment. Its machines were retooled to build equipment used in the war. It may be possible that other York Co. companies are included in the photos further into the site.
The photos were taken by various photographers although many were taken by a female photographer whose name I failed to write down before leaving the site. These are all photos handed over to the Office of War Information, I assume during wartime as opposed to later, considering that the office is probably no longer in operation or, at least, operates under a different name. The website is in the Library of Congress’ ” American Memory,” “America from the Great Depression to WWII.” It also states the black & white photographs are from the “FSA-OWI, 1935-1945. All of the photos are in the public domain.
I was mesmerized by what the site contains and sat at the computer for over an hour looking at photo after photo after photo. Yet, I saw only a fraction of the total number. I think you’ll enjoy this website.

Here’s that FSA/OWI site.

Auction goers look on the sale of this farmhouse and its goods.
All York Town Square posts from the start. Then use “find” function on browser to search for keywords.
– Of course, you can always search for York Town Square posts on Google. For example, when you search for yorktownsquare and York Safe & Lock, you get this.