Then and Now

I don’t know why I am so fascinated with the Great Depression; I guess it has a little to do with my living situation as of late.

My mother was born in 1934.  I remember growing up (we didn’t have much then either), of her telling stories of what it was like living in that time.  From using cereal box cutouts for soles of shoes to her mother having to use Rations to buy food for her family of 9.

ration book

Depression Glass.  When I was in college I remember having to do a public speaking project on artifacts and I chose a cake plate that I still had that belonged to our family.  I remember it as a young child.  It had a small chip in it and it was green.  I don’t have it anymore.  One day, I will build my collection up again.

Depression glass is clear or colored translucent glassware that was distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States and Canada around this time.  Much depression glass is uranium glass. The Quaker Oats Company, and other food manufacturers and distributors, put a piece of glassware in boxes of food, as an incentive to purchase. Movie theaters and businesses would hand out a piece simply for coming in the door.

depression glass

S&H Green Stamps were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. They were distributed as part of a rewards program operated by the Sperry & Hutchinson company (S&H), founded in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchinson.

green stamps

Quoted from allabouthistory.org; most characteristic of life during the Great Depression was the widening gap between the “haves” and “have-nots.” Unemployment rose from a shocking 5 million in 1930 to an almost unbelievable 13 million by the end of 1932. It would be rural America that would suffer the greatest. Unemployed fathers saw children hired for sub-standard wages. In 1930, 2.25 million boys and girls ages 10–18 worked in factories, canneries, mines, and on farms. Children left school to support their families.

The harsh reality of life during the Great Depression is vividly recalled by Travis (12 yrs) who found his father behind their Massachusetts house, crying and heartbroken. “My dad was the strongest man I knew, but the Depression brought him to his knees.” While starving children in the Appalachians chewed on their hands, nearly drawing blood, nursery school children in Philadelphia played an “eviction game.” Toy furniture would be piled up in one corner of the room, then picked up and moved to another corner. “We ain’t got no money for rent, so we move. Then we get the sheriff on us, so we move again.” 

children 1930

I look out my kitchen window, I see children playing with the mouse trap boxes and collecting grass hoppers with them, eating a hotdog on a piece of white bread with ketchup; using the Diet Pepsi cans as soda bombs for some kind of childhood game.

kitchen window

We’ve come along way, haven’t we……

I did finally get my Food Card, and took my bus trip to the grocery store. I will save that story for another day.

I am also learning how to make wine from grape juice.  I will tell you how that goes.

Hugs and Hope

DTC

 

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