The Human Machinery of War

Photograph: Wrecked Truck Spilling Lumber Across Road

Original Title/Caption: “Safety. Hindering war production. The driver fell asleep and, in the process, ruined a good truck, delayed an important lumber shipment, created a dangerous situation on the highway, and nearly cost a number of lives. Such accidents seriously hinder war production.”

 

Description: This black and white photograph shows a man in a dark jacket overlooking a nearly over-turned truck.  The dark automobile is partially off of the road on a steep embankment and is spilling loose, processed lumber across the road.  Alfred T. Palmer photographed the accident in March 1942.

 

Source: Palmer, Alfred T., photographer.  “Safety. Hindering war production. The driver fell asleep and, in the process, ruined a good truck, delayed an important lumber shipment, created a dangerous situation on the highway, and nearly cost a number of lives. Such accidents seriously hinder war production.”   Photograph, 1942.  From Library of Congress: Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Call number LC-USE6- D-003604.  http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8b02547/ (accessed March 20, 2007).

 

Historical discussion: The original title/caption of this photograph explains that this accident was caused by the driver falling asleep at the wheel.  While the driver’s exhaustion might have been caused by long hours and other factors out of his control, the caption only points to the individual’s fault in “seriously hinder[ing] war production.”