In 1933, the town of Norvelt became the fourth of 99 planned subsistence homestead communities subsidized by the federal government as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act for dislocated miners and industrial workers. The American Field Service Committee was recruited to implement and build the subsistence project and established a work camp in the summer of 1934. More than 1,850 people applied for 250 lots, and the first 1,200 homesteaders helped build their own homes on a lease-to-purchase agreement. Homes were equipped with a grape arbor, 3.4 acres of land, and chicken coops. Cooperatively, homesteaders established community garden plots and raised livestock, hogs, and chickens. A format of cultural, political, and religious expression was provided to the residents, and through vintage photographs Norvelt: A New Deal Subsistence Homestead celebrates the remarkable life transformation the homesteaders were able to experience during the town's formative years.