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.