Dust Bowl

(redirected from dust bowls)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to dust bowls: Okies

Dust Bowl,

the name given to areas of the U.S. prairie states that suffered ecological devastation in the 1930s and then to a lesser extent in the mid-1950s. The problem began during World War I, when the high price of wheat and the needs of Allied troops encouraged farmers to grow more wheat by plowing and seeding areas in prairie states, such as Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, which were formerly used only for grazing. After years of adequate yields, livestock were returned to graze the areas, and their hooves pulverized the unprotected soil. In 1934 strong winds blew the soil into huge clouds called "dusters" or "black blizzards," and in the succeeding years, from December to May, the dust storms recurred. Crops and pasture lands were ruined by the harsh storms, which also proved a severe health hazard. The uprooting, poverty, and human suffering caused during this period is notably portrayed in John SteinbeckSteinbeck, John,
1902–68, American writer, b. Salinas, Calif., studied at Stanford. He is probably best remembered for his strong sociological novel The Grapes of Wrath, considered one of the great American novels of the 20th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
's The Grapes of Wrath. Through later governmental intervention and methods of erosion-prevention farming, the Dust Bowl phenomenon has been virtually eliminated, thus left a historic reference.

Bibliography

See D. Worster, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (1979); T. Egan, The Worst Hard Time (2005); K. Burns, dir., The Dust Bowl (documentary, 2012).

dust bowl

[′dəst ‚bōl]
(climatology)
A name given, early in 1935, to the region in the south-central United States afflicted by drought and dust storms, including parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, and resulting from a long period of deficient rainfall combined with loosening of the soil by destruction of the natural vegetation; dust bowl describes similar regions in other parts of the world.

dust bowl

a semiarid area in which the surface soil is exposed to wind erosion and dust storms occur

Dust Bowl

the. the area of the south central US that became denuded of topsoil by wind erosion during the droughts of the mid-1930s
References in periodicals archive ?
The MVDL created imagery loaded with reminders of the US Dust Bowl on the southern Great Plains, in the semi-arid West.
Certainly, to treat nature as something separate from humans, machines and their labour, cannot serve a study of the Dust Bowl idea.
A 'DUST BOWL' DOES NOT FORM PART OF ANY AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MYTHOLOGY
As in the case of water conservation, the historiography on the US Dust Bowl is vast.
However, it is Finis Dunaway's Natural Visions which provides a sustained analysis of bothPare Lorentz films, The Plow that Broke the Plains, which was a response to the Dust Bowl, and The River, a TVA propaganda film, centred on the Mississippi Flood disaster of 1927.
Among the comparative works on the Dust Bowl by environmental historians is David Moon's The Plough that Broke the Steppes on the Russian context; Sarah Phillips' 'Lessons from the Dust Bowl'; and, on Australia, Kirsty Douglas' '"For the sake of a little grass".' Douglas offers a comparative history of settler science and environmental limits in the Australian state of South Australia and the US Great Plains.
Among environmental historians who have applied the idea of a 'dust bowl' to describe the Australian case, are Neil Barr and John Cary who briefly describe 'our own dust bowl', in Greening a Brown Land, Libby Robin in 'Paul Sears', and Cameron Muir, who develops the theme with a comparative discussion of US and Australian conditions in a chapter on 'dust' in The Broken Promise of Agricultural Progress.
To investigate the cultural and political context that conceived of and promoted TVA and 'dust bowl' ideas in war-time and early post-war Australia, this analysis distinguishes between wind erosion and drought conditions, and the idea of a dust bowl ?
The study investigates influences such as the TVA, the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Dust Bowl upon World War Two soil and water conservation imagery describing western New South Wales and the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria.
(52) But what did he mean by a 'dust bowl?' The idea of a 'dust bowl' grew out of the severe drought and soil erosion on the US Great Plains during the 1930s, when massive dust storms darkened the skies, sand drifted across farm properties and local newspapers warned of the end of the world.
When they generated US-inspired soil conservation narratives, these were loaded with declensionist Dust Bowl imagery including sand dunes and bleached skulls or anecdotes about American farmers watching Kansas farms blow by.
(83) There was no point in watering western New South Wales with it, MVDL supporters said, because the Riverina was already a drought-stricken 'dust bowl' anyway.