Next Time Try The Train

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign #8

Camped in the rain behind billboard: three families, fourteen children. On U.S. 99. Near Famosa, Kern County, California. Nov, 1939. Sign for Southern Pacific says, "Next Time Try The Train."

Camped in the rain behind billboard: three families, fourteen children. On U.S. 99. Near Famosa, Kern County, California. Nov, 19391

A rather ironic photo by Dorothea Lange juxtaposes the extreme poverty of migrant workers with the relative luxury offered by passenger trains of the 1930s.


  1. Lange, Dorothea, photographer. Image retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/fsa2000004591/PP/. (Accessed October 16, 2016.)
american history, california, camping, great depression, history, people, photography, sign sign everywhere a sign, train, vintage images

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hilary Oct 29, 2016

    Hi Mike – yes it is a rather perverse image – tells the story though …

    Cheers Hilary

    • Mike Oct 29, 2016

      Interestingly, passenger train service has almost disappeared in most of the United States. The last time I was on a train with regularly scheduled service, excluding subways and tourist excursion trains, was in the mid 70s between Greenock and Glasgow, Scotland.

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