The Works Projects Administration (WPA) maps were constructed in order to further “understanding of the rural relief problem.” Rural regions were mapped “with the purpose of securing as much internal similarity as possible” for the sake of comprehending social conditions as well as “planning programs to fit specific conditions” (1). The WPA therefore divided the Appalachian region into a more northerly section, which is designated “Allegheny,” and a more southerly section it designated “Appalachia.”
The WPA’s “Rural Farm Cultural Region” (RFCR) maps divide the United States into a system of regions based on agricultural production. The “Rural Cultural Regions” (RCR) subdivided the country “on the basis of the portions which were strictly agricultural and those in which rural industries were important,” thereby taking into consideration both rural farm and rural non-farm populations (3). RCRs divide the population into three groups: “persons residing on farms (engage chiefly in agriculture), persons who reside in agricultural villages and towns (engage chiefly in service industries including trade, transportation and communication, and professional and non professional services), and residents of mining towns, lumber camps, fishing villages, mill towns, and other manufacturing villages, towns, and small cities” (41).
Mangus, A.R. Works Progress Administration. 1940. Rural regions of the United States. Washington, DC.
*The WPA book had county lists rather than images. Therefore we do not provide a static map.*