The most recent addition to Mashable's Retronaut series focuses on a crop of photographs taken during the Great Depression in the United States. What sets these photos apart is that each of them bears at least one black hole. As it turns out, the reasoning behind these missing spaces is tied to photographer and government official Roy Stryker, who was the head of the Information Division of the Farm Security Administration, launching and directing its documentary photography program. Apparently, when the photographers he employed brought back photographs he did not favor, he "killed" the images.

Stryker was a highly educated economist and provided his photographers with extensive research and information to prepare them for each assignment. He was determined to get the best work possible out of his employees — which also made him a bit of a tyrannical editor.

When the photographers returned with their negatives, Stryker or his assistants would edit them ruthlessly. If a photo was not to his liking, he would not simply set it aside — he would puncture the negative with a hole puncher, “killing” it. 








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All images via Library of Congress