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Poster Series for Rural Electrification Administration (REA), 1937-41
Dorthea Lange Photograph for REA

Lester Beall created three series of posters for REA from 1937-41. Beall's design aesthetic matched the stark landscapes of the FSA photography that documented the work of extending lines of electricity to rural America. In the later posters, he incorporated black and white photography into his designs, which photographers like Dorothea Lange had popularized.

In the 1930s, many farms operated without electricity while towns and cities had been living with it for decades. The Rural Electrification Administration extended electricity to farms, which allowed them modern conveniences like radio, appliances and home lighting. With electricity farms could operate more tools and machinery, work more safely without kerosene lamps and run coolers to keep milk fresh.

Poster art: Lester Beall
Photograph: Dorothea Lange
Rural Electrification Administration, c. 1937-41

FSA Photography Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress