The thousands of refugee farmers who showed up in California in the late 1930s outnumbered the jobs that were available. Many ended up living in migratory labor camps created for them by the Farm Security Administration.
There, despite great poverty and displacement, they created vibrant communities. They told stories, sang love ballads, debated amongst themselves and held square dances. The sounds of their new
lives were captured by Todd and Sonkin using a "Presto" recorder
that imprinted sound on aluminum discs.
In this piece from Lost and Found Sound, Charles Todd talks about the places he visited and the people he recorded.