Thursday, September 05, 2013

Depression Era Homes

The Great Depression was an arduous journey for the American people. The entire nation suffered horribly. Some families ate Jell-O for meals because it was so cheap, and sugar kept the children's hunger at bay. Most people just roamed the nation desperate for work. It was a time of pain and suffering that you, citizen of the modern, progressive and better world, would never understand.

That bathroom is better than most I have seen in the last five years. Would you look at that bathroom. Pedestal sink, tub with shower option and a toilet not an old water closet like some homes had. The scheme looks a bit art deco. That is a pretty sweet set up for Depression era Americans. That had to be only for the wealthy though. Everyone else had to struggle on with next to nothing.

For $4.50 a week that Hotpoint electric kitchen could be yours. The average American earned $1,368 annually in 1939. Unemployment was a touch under 20%, but that $4.50 a week was $234 over the course of a year. Whether financed over a year or longer, it would be a small installment for the joys of electricity in your kitchen. The jump from no electricity to full electricity is a switch modern Americans cannot completely understand yet still sounds cheap at $4.50 a week.

This in no way minimizes the decade long trauma that was the Great Depression but 80% of America continued to work. The 1930s were known for luxury auto designs and the innovations in many new models. Useless and useful public works were built like the Hoover Dam. We only continue to call our current economic stagnation the Great Recession to protect the Obama led liberal mandarins running the show today and to continue the glorification and mythology of FDR, shepherd of the American people through the swamps of the depression.


Eldas the Elder said...

"Convenience" (and particularly convenience for women) drive modern marketing.

Decades ago I started critically reading the ads in post-WWII magazines and was surprised how many pimped expensive female stuff that husbands would work longer and more to provide so their wives could work shorter and less.

Anonymous said...

The depression was a fine time if you had a job, which 80% of people did. Wages and job security were artificially propped up by the new deal and the cost of living was falling. On the other hand, you were quite fucked if you were unemployed, which 20% of people were.