Urban Velo

The Photography of Margaret Bourke-White

Photo by Margaret Bourke-White

I recently stumbled upon this Life photo. It depicts a post-WWII Japanese farmer returning home after a day’s work in the fields. For a man who lost part of his land and quite possibly several friends and family members as a result of the war, he seems to be in good spirits.

The photo led me to discover some horrifying photos in the Life magazine archive, but it also led me to discover the Japanese Bicycle History Research Club website when I attempted to learn more about the farmer’s bike. It also led me to read about one of America’s most celebrated documentary photographers, Margaret Bourke-White.

Known to coworkers as “‘Maggie the Indestructible,” she documented WWII from the front lines, escaping bombings in Russia, witnessing the brutality of concentration camps in Germany and surviving the fighting in northern Africa. During her career she documented the Great Depression, the rise of Nazism and the partition of India. She also interviewed and photographed Gandhi just hours before his assassination.

About Urban Jeff

I'm about to have a nervous breakdown, my head really hurts. Contact me.

View all posts by Urban Jeff →


  1. gwadzillaJanuary 6, 2010 at 10:30 am

    thanks for sharing!

    very interesting stuff

    here is a page that I have had fun digging through


    Happy New Year!

  2. Urban JeffJanuary 6, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Shorpy is great. Check out this old bike photo: http://urbanvelo.org/speed-racer-circa-1925/

  3. CrankeeJanuary 7, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Nice find Jeff. We have a private Bicycle museum here in Nagoya City Japan. I plan to pay them a visit and write about it in my blog later this month (www.crankee.me). The museum houses a nice collection of both Japanese and international cycles. Should be interesting.

  4. jimmyJanuary 7, 2010 at 9:47 am

    thanks for the links, sounds amazing

  5. pioJanuary 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    looks like my grandfa..

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


City Reports