Since Colorado history classes are making national headlines lately, we wanted to bring you a bit of the past—without controversy. From 1935 to 1945, the Dust Bowl era that devastated the economy and scarred Colorado’s landscape, the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information sent photographers across the country to document what was happening, including recovery and assistance programs. Many of those images are now searchable online by county at Photogrammar. We dug through the images captured in Colorado to find 15 of our favorites (see the gallery above). Be warned: This fascinating trove might have you wasting part of your day searching through the rest. But trust us, it’s worth the time.

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