Photographs From the Negro Extension Service

The Alabama Extension Service was racially segregated from its beginnings until the 1960s.  Agents serving African Americans in Alabama (and the district agents consulting with African American agents in other southern states) were headquartered in Tuskegee Institute, while agents to the rural white communties worked out of Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn.  The administrative headquarters of the Alabama Extension Service was also at API.  Many of the following photographs accompanied periodic reports of the Tuskegee agents to the Extension Service Director.


To see a larger reference copy of the photographs below, please click on the thumbnail.

 
Thomas Monroe Campbell (1883-1956), Director of the Negro Extension Service of Alabama.  A graduate of Tuskegee Institute and protegee of  Booker T. Washington, Campbell became the first African-American extension agent (1906).  He was promoted to supervising agent in 1910, an appointment he held until his retirement in 1953. Photo taken July 25, 1926. 
 
George Washington Carver (c. 1861-1943), delivering a radio address on October 5, 1940.  Carver was the noted agricultural chemist and botanist who was a mainstay at Tuskegee Institute until his death.  Besides his accomplishments in making products from peanuts, soybeans, swet potatoes and other agricultural products, Carver was instrumental in establishing the Negro Extension Service.
The "Short Course," carried on at both Tuskegee and API, was the first program established for agricultural extension.  Farmers and 4-H Club members attended the annual course to learn about new or improved agricultural techniques and crops.  In this photograph, 4-H Club members prepare for a plowing race on December 6, 1926.
The Tuskegee extension agents developed a "Movable School" to reach African-American farm families unable to attend the short courses.  Sometimes movable school agents conducted their classes for extremely isolated farm families, but often they, like the white agents, worked from a centrally-located regional "demonstration farm."  Such farms were chosen because of  their location and the owner's willingness to cooperate by providing a few acres and making improvements.  This Madison County agent and deomnstration farmer discuss a new poultry house [1920s].
Convenient, clean water in the quantities necessary for effective farming and animal raising has always been problematic.  Here an agent and farmer view the results of their work to provide running water for a barnyard.  Montgomery County [1920s] 
 
Home Demonstration Agents worked with farm women to improve their ability to accomplish traditional caregiving activities.  Here a Home Demonstration Agent prepares vegetables for canning at the Frank Taylor family residence, Montgomery County [1920s].
This is a companion photograph to the one above.  Note the wood-fired canning processor to the agents right.

The following photographs depict rural life in Alabama.  Most of these photos are undated but were taken during the 1920s.

  Farm woman plowing with her bull.  n.p., n.d.

  Farm hands employed by B.L. Lightfoot, Troy, Pike County, AL, July 26, 1926.
 
Tom Sanders (l) and Dennis Hall (r) barbeque meat at the Montgomery Farmers' Market, May 12, 1928.
 
 
Farm hands load onto rail cars part of cargo of 300 turkeys sold by Dallas County, Alabama, farmer A. G. DeSherbinin.  November 15, 1927.

  Unloading crated farm produce at repackaging shed for retail sale. n.p., n.d.


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