The Great Depression in the 1930s was a time of turmoil. The Depression originated in the United States, after a fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929.
Cities all around the world were hit hard. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by approximately 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most.
Women’s primary role was as a housewife; without a steady flow of family income, their work became much harder in dealing with food and clothing and medical care. Among the few women in the labor force, layoffs were less common in white-collar jobs, and they were typically found in light manufacturing work.
However, there was a widespread demand to limit families to one paid job, so that wives might lose employment if their husband was employed. When we look back on this era, it’s inspiring to see how so many were able to respond to the everyday struggles with positivity and ingenuity.
An example of ingenuity would be ladies turning feed sacks into dresses that they wore on a regular basis. The Depression also taught those that lived through it to be thankful for what they had. In the clip from Great Depression Cooking, Clara recalls what she and her family used to eat for breakfast on Sunday morning.
While sugar cookies and coffee might not seem like a lot, it’s clear that Clara looks back on these times fondly. What do you think of being limited in both income and ability to provide for the family? Would you be thankful for what you had, including breakfasts of sugar cookies and coffee? Let us hope that this sort of lifestyle never has to happen again. The video below will give you an excellent insight into life during the Great Depression.