How times change. Now the jobs are in South Dakota rather then the over-regulated Left Coast.
They seem to have the "bust" look on their faces.
i dont believe thats an old photo because the guy kneeling down has a hair doo just like the kids today. probably saving up for some tatoos
The original negative, along with others of the same car/group are in the Library of Congress. The photos are of the Vernon Evans family of Lemmon, SD and were taken by Arthur Rothstein near Missoula, MT in 1936.
Regarding the haircut. The "undercut" (short on the sides and long on top) as people call it today is back in vogue. If you look at old photographs, you'll see it has been around for at least 125 years.
There are several other photos in that series. I can show you the water spring they were headed up to along the highway near Missoula. This is only about 300 feet off old Highway 12. The Northern Pacific Railroad and highway are back behind the photographer. They would have been on a paved road until they pulled off to stop at the spring -- a popular resting place for travelers at the time.
"Undercut may be older the 125yrs.
George n L.A.
Those are some fashionable britches the girl on the left has on.
The standing guy is wearing his belt off to one side as was trendy at the time. Can see this in other period photos.
Great photo, Jay. And Stan your added background really adds to my enjoyment of the pic.
Erich, there was a resurgence of the belt fad in our area in the mid-late 1970s. I remember my older brothers and their friends doing that.
Is that knapweed in the foreground?
The belt buckle off to one side so you don't scratch the paint when working on cars.
ya hal, i like the girl on the left, she can ride shotgun any time
There was no Knapweed in Montana until the mid 60's when it spread across the western part of the state, starting in the northwest corner. There is a little here around Helena, not much further east. They make a real effort to keep it under control but it's hard to do. They have some pretty effective sprays now.
I have seen those pics several times over the years and often wondered what happened to these folks. That looked to be a real load for a T but then again back then 30mph would have been fast and reckless!
Here are a couple of earlier threads about the same series of pictures:
Be sure to read the interview with Vernon Evans on how they broke the crankshaft and were able to fix it with a field repair.
Traffic on the highway in 1936 was probably running 45-50 mph most of the time. A T on the road would have been holding up traffic or at the least getting passed a lot. Rothstein was driving, if I remember right from his other photos, a 35 DeSoto or Dodge coupe. He would have easily been able to catch them.
I believe the story says that they went back to their farm and changed the crankshaft, they didn't do it on the side of the road.
Montana was not hit nearly as hard by the drought and dust bowl conditions as South Dakota was. Even in eastern Montana where the lay of the land is wide and flat the farmers did not farm every square inch of ground like they did in much of South Dakota. SD was homesteaded much earlier than eastern Montana as several railroads came west as far as the Missouri river prior to 1900, only one came west after that that came through SD to Montana and on west, the Milwaukee. Places were homesteaded and farmed in SD west of the river that should never have seen a plow and were unable to sustain crops. The answer to ground blowing away was to farm deeper and break up more land. With the advent of tractors in the teens there were fields broken up that were several miles square. With the wind and weeds and poor farming practices SD was a dust bowl in the 1930's that never happened in Montana. Many Montana homesteads had been abandoned in the 1920's along the Milwaukee but mostly north and west of Forsyth in the Ingomar area, which also should have never been farmed. Where the railroad came into Montana at Baker the farms were mostly either on more fertile ground or smaller farms in the valleys. Also, many of the homesteads in the Sandstone/O'Fallon/Yellowstone drainages were not so much farms as headquarters for small ranches, which is what my ranch was. There was very little farmland on the place and we didn't farm what their was. We raised cows and horses. The government was also smarter by then and did not open land to homestead that could not be successfully farmed. Once the Milwaukee joined the Northern Pacific "Water route to the West" at Terry - along the Yellowstone river, there was better access to markets, the towns thrived and the economy was much more diversified. The Milwaukee had huge coal mines at Roundup and Colstrip to provide freight hauls, western Montana had timber and the mines at Butte for jobs and freight. By 1936 Montana was well on the road to recovery, there were good crops in 34, 35, 36, not so good in 37 and 38 and then pretty much back to decent crops after that. In western Montana there were rivers with water for irrigation, Timber to cut and Gold and Copper to mine for. The economy never did collapse as it is in South Dakota and further east. Montana had the most paved roads of any of the western states -- the Dakotas and Wyoming -- by the early 1930's.
Again, they would have been on good paved roads all the way from the Montana border on the east to the border on the west over 700 miles away. That trail in the photo is not the road they were traveling on.
Bear in mind that the road over Beartooth Pass going from Red Lodge to Yellowstone Park was finished in 1936 after two or three summers of work. It was not necessary for transportation, it was a tourist attraction from the beginning. Going to the Sun in Glacier was being built at about the same time. Both of these roads were paved when they were opened to traffic.
By the early 1930's two of my uncles were working for McNutt construction, one of the largest in the west, building roads all over Montana and Idaho as well as a few in Alaska. They had dozens of Caterpillar dozers, Euclid Earthmovers, gravel trucks, cranes, etc., Friday ran a finish blade for McNutts for 40 years, Lawrence was a cat skinner. They were making a lot of money in the 1930's working construction and one of the on-going family battles was over Friday's new Buick against Lawrence's new Hudson every year. Their three brothers, my father included, chose to stay on their ranches instead of traveling with a road construction crew. Two of them eventually left their ranches, Clifford to move to Bellingham, Washington and Leonard to start up a dirt moving company in Baker. There were good construction jobs in Montana -- I don't know why people did what they did but nobody starved to death in Montana in the 1930's that wanted to work. Times were hard here but never as hard as the dust bowl of South Dakota and places further east.
This is my ranch in eastern Montana at the end of a summer day. You can see the Milwaukee Railroad tracks in the background, Sandstone Creek where the trees are and the Scoria Buttes in the backgound. Where the buildings are is what is left of the little town of Westmore. Much of eastern Montana is like this, there was not way to farm huge fields like there was in South Dakota where the land is flat.
The girl on the right looks like she might be in a family way if that is true then they probably didn't spend too much time on unpaved roads.
nice looking country stan, good place to call home
Stan, Great history and a good read! Great view from your ranch too!
Belt buckle to the side to prevent scratching the car you are working on or the guitar you are playing.
Stan - Nice picture and a great historical perspective on life in Eastern Montana.
That picture looks like a great place for a laid back Model T Tour. Nice gravel roads, gently rolling terrain, communities reminiscent of the early 20th Century, not much traffic... I'm ready to go!