Folks gather for a farm auction in Derby, Conn., in September 1940. Rural America saw declines in farm ownership during the 1930s. For instance, in 1930, 52 percent of the farmers in Nebraska owned their own land; by 1940, less than 47 percent of them did.
The era was dubbed the "Dirty 30s" because of the dust, insects, summer heat and winter cold. When these combined elements destroyed the crops, farmers were left with no money for groceries or farm payments.
Reproduction from color slide.