Kenneth I. Helphand
The craft brewing renaissance of recent decades has brought a renewed interest in hops. These vigorous vines with their flavorful flowers have long played an important role in beer making and in Oregon’s agriculture landscape. Hops: Historic Photographs of the Oregon Hopscape is a visual dive into the physical presence of the plant and its distinctive landscape and culture.
Oregon was once the leading producer of hops in the United States—a title now held by Washington. Kenneth I. Helphand has scoured archives across Oregon to bring together historic photos of hop pickers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Hops brings to life pickers of all backgrounds through different eras of agricultural practice. Here are children, nuns, families, immigrants, and college students in fields, hop driers, and tent camps. The photos range from the candid to the highly professional, including five images from Dorothea Lange’s iconic Farm Service Administration work.
The 85 high quality photos are accompanied by captions that provide, variously, historical background, selections from oral histories, and visual guidance. A historical essay gives interested readers a short overview of the plant’s history and the world of hop growing and picking.
About the author
KENNETH I. HELPHAND is Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus at
the University of Oregon.
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"I am an 88 year old Oregonian and spent many summer days in the hop fields as a youngster picking. [Hops] brought back many, many memories. Not many of us are still around who recall those experiences. I’ve tried, on many occasion, to explain to others the hop industry and what it was like to work there . . . You have captured exactly the sweat and the toil, but also the charm and camaraderie associated with that industry. Thanks again for the history." - Harold (Hal) Nichols