Elderly Man Watching Two Young Boys Holding Another Young Boy Down on a Mat While Standing Man Reads Scroll


This photograph of a scene in Vietnam is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. Vietnam was at this time part of the French colony of Indochina. In Carpenter’s New Geographical Reader: Asia (1923) Carpenter wrote: “The people and conditions of all the provinces are much the same. They live largely by farming, raising great quantities of rice for their own use and for export. They raise also some cotton and pepper, as well as rubber and sugar. Their chief imports are cotton cloth, cotton thread, tin, and some kinds of machinery. In Saigon are many modern rice mills. The country about has two million acres of rice, and raises so much of that grain every year that it could give a pound to every man, woman, and child in the world.”

Last updated: May 29, 2013