Voices for a mighty argument

watervliet arsenal 1942

We were browsing through the local photos today on the Yale Photogrammar site -- an easy-to-use interface for 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United State's Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information -- and came across this photo of the Watervliet Arsenal in 1942, taken by Alfred T. Palmer. The caption:

Voices for a mighty argument. A long line of big guns being rushed toward completion under the war production program. Guns shown here are being turned out in the major caliber shop of a large eastern arsenal

One of the cool things about the Photogrammar site is its map which allows you to search the collection by location. There are something like 220 photos from the immediate Capital Region in the collection. And the thing that was interesting about them -- to us -- was just how ordinary the scenes in them seemed to be. A lot of them are of people working -- making tanks at Alco, haying a field ("someone has to do it"), folding laundry at a stove, riding bikes from school.

We did come across a few "hey, that's that place" photos: that building with the columns on Union Street in Schenectady, State Street in Schenectady, the then-still-active train station in Chatham.

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This sounds like a really cool website. Thanks for the tip!

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