Photo shows Florence Thompson with several of her children in a tent shelter as part of the “Migrant Mother” series in Nipomo, California. Florence had seven children and was 32-years-old.
In March 1936, after picking beets in the Imperial Valley, Thompson and her family were traveling on U.S. Highway 101 towards Watsonville. On the road, the car timing chain snapped and they coasted to a stop just inside a pea-pickers’ camp on Nipomo Mesa. While Jim Hill, her husband, and two of Thompson’s sons went into town to get the car’s damaged radiator repaired, Thompson and some of the children set up a temporary camp. As Thompson waited, photographer Dorothea Lange, working for the Resettlement Administration, drove up and started taking photos of Florence and her family. She took 6 images in the course of 10 minutes.