54 Amazing Photos Show Everyday Life in the U.S During the 1940s

Charles Weever Cushman (1896-1972) is an amateur photographer and Indiana University alumnus, bequeathed approximately 14,500 Kodachrome color slides to his alma mater. His photographs bridge a thirty-two year span from 1938 to 1969, during which time he extensively documented the United States as well as other countries.

We selected some from his collection to reveal daily life of the US during the 1940s. Take a look…

Tucson on Saturday afternoon, Arizona, Feb. 1940
Bull and whiskered leader Loudoun co., Virginia, September 1940
Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, Jun. 1940
Lagoon and Orange, San Francisco Fair Flowers, California, June 1940
Little girls at Mammoth, Arizona, May 1940
Rodeo parade, Tucson, Arizona, Feb. 23, 1940
Proud grandpa watches solo rope skip, New Harmony, Indiana, Apr. 16, 1941
Girls stroll along lake shore Chicago, Illinois, July 20, 1941
Hyde Park schoolgirls at Promontory, Chicago, Illinois, June 27, 1941
Residents of lower Clinton St., NYC, Sep. 27, 1941
Looking up Fulton St. from South St., New York City, Sep. 27, 1941
Looking up into Financial District from South Ferry, Wall Street, NYC, Jun. 6, 1941
Moppet poses after getting pennies, Chicago, Illinois, Mar. 2, 1941
Stores near corner of Broome St. and Baruch Place, Lower East Side, NYC, Sep. 27, 1941
Street in Negro section, Vieux Carre, New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 5, 1941
The Flying Concellos hang out their wash at the 1941 Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus in Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 2, 1941
The old Fulton Market Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Saturday afternoon, Sep. 27, 1941
Three men from South Ferry flophouses at Battery Park, NYC, Jun. 6, 1941
TWA Stratoliner refuels at Chicago airport Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 10, 1941
View up Royal St. in the morning, New Orleans. New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 5, 1941
Yoked cattle pull an Alabama farm wagon, Eutaw, Nov. 1, 1941
A busy corner of Pearl St. at noon, NYC, Oct. 7, 1942
A corner on west Canal St., NYC, Oct. 4, 1942
A street in New York’s Chinatown, Sidewalk along Chinese store fronts, NYC, Oct. 7, 1942
Collecting the salvage on lower East Side, NYC, Oct. 4, 1942
Crowd gathers during Salvage collection in lower East Side, NYC, Oct. 4, 1942
Hot sweet potatoes on Sidewalk store, NYC, Oct. 4, 1942
Polish-American parade west bound on Augusta Blvd., Chicago, Illinois, May 3, 1942
Portable soft drink stand at Bowling Green, NYC, Oct. 1, 1942
Poverty, young and old, black and white, Lower East Side, NYC, Oct. 4, 1942
S.O. Building seen from Battery Park, NYC, Oct. 1, 1942
Statue of de Peyster, Bowling Green, NYC, Oct. 1, 1942
Two views looking up a street of many races, lower Manhattan, NYC, Oct. 3, 1942
Two views looking up a street of many races, lower Manhattan, NYC, Oct. 3, 1942
Up 4th Ave. from Astor Place, Cooper Union at right, NYC, Oct. 7, 1942
West side of Broadway from Bowling Green, NYC, Oct. 1, 1942
White horses draw white coach at Bowling Green on Broadway Street, NYC, Oct. 1, 1942
Couple in garden of Wooded Island, Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 1944
North State St., Pure Oil Building in backyard, Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 1944
1905 Cadillac and early Oldsmobile at Rosenwald Museum, Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 15, 1945
An early model Cadillac is groomed for 50th anniversary of auto-race, Chicago, Illinois, Sep. 11, 1945
Old and new tow-boats at Mt. Vernon wharf, Mt. Vernon, Indiana, Oct. 12, 1945
Mother and daughter feed ducks, Jackson Park Lagoon, Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 15, 1946
University Club from Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 30, 1946
Liliput Float Circus, Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 2, 1947
Tractor and Combine for Soybeans Hagerman farm West of Mt. Vernon, Indiana, Oct. 11, 1947
High water blocks Indiana Hwy 69 near Greathouse school, Point Township, Posey County, Indiana, April 23, 1948
Wrigley Building seen from Michigan and Water, Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 17, 1948
Confectionary cart at Lexington & Dekalb, Chicago, Illinois, Mar. 28, 1949
Cows near Bordick, Indiana, Jun. 24, 1949
Food and drink store at 1000 Maxwell St., Chicago, Illinois, Mar. 1, 1949
Main St. of old town Shawneetown, Illinois, May 16, 1949
Store building at 244 Esat 35th St., Chicago, Illinois, Mar. 12, 1949
Popcorn wagon at Hoyne and Adams, Chicago, Illinois, Mar. 29, 1949

(Photos by Charles Weever Cushman)

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