Ruth Orkin Bicycle Trip 1939

Ruth Orkin Bicycle Trip 1939

Ruth Orkin Bicycle Trip. When Orkin was 17 she wanted to see the 1939 World’s Fair that was in New York City. Somehow she managed to convince her parents to allow her to bicycle across the country. She hitch-hiked for the long distances, but ended up biking over 2000 miles through the big cities, and took many memorable photos everywhere she went.

She did it in 3 weeks.

Orkin was later known as an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker. I’m upset I just learned of the story now. Find the photos she took here.

Ruth Orkin Bicycle Trip 1939
Ruth Orkin Bicycle Trip 1939

From her bio page

Ruth Orkin was an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker. Orkin was the only child of Mary Ruby, a silent-film actress, and Samuel Orkin, a manufacturer of toy boats called Orkin Craft. She grew up in Hollywood in the heyday of the 1920s and 1930s. At the age of 10, she received her first camera, a 39 cent Univex. She began by photographing her friends and teachers at school. At 17 years old she took a monumental bicycle trip across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City to see the 1939 World’s Fair, and she photographed along the way.

Click around her archive site and you’ll recognize her work. It’s inspiring to know another creative has taken to the bike and camera. And, a famous one.

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