Another good Shorpy photo. It shows a T and the photo is dated 1937.
What a great photo. I would love to have a copy for framing. This tells a story of hard times.
Hard times indeed - took its toll both on the the truck and the people..
Let's hope at least the kids have got long and happy lives
There's so much of a story to that photo. I'm always a little shocked in this day and age at the stark honesty of these black and white photos. The woman with the child in her arms poses the question "why would people insist on bringing children into such a tough world?" But humans being who they are and with such a lack of available birth control, you have to understand why. The next question could be, " what guarantee did these people have there'd be a job once they reached their destination?" It's not like they could jump on the cell phone and call ahead. There's not much of a chance they had a radio available. And I doubt their television was picking up much. Especially when you consider the cathode ray tube, at best was experimental at that time. The crossed fender braces on the front are something I've never seen before. Another thing I think of is that this photo was taken only 13 years before I was born. So many of the adult members of my family lived through these tough times. When I was born and until I went into the army my family had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get by. But for some reason I remember a lot of happiness in my life. So the last question was, "were these people able to laugh and smile at their situation." Words like fear, apprehension, anger and uncertainty come to mind.
"were these people able to laugh and smile at their situation?"
Well, they could make songs about it or listen to others songs about it, here's a few I'm thinking of..
Very well put, Mike. Even in these tough times that many are facing today, it really pales compared to what those folks went through. Heaven forbid it ever get that bad again, you'd see the suicide rate go through the roof. We're all way too soft nowadays.
I remember mom telling me that it was not unusual for her mother not to eat until everyone else in the family ate first and many times she would end up eating the scraps left by others... Hard Times Indeed! What we call poor today ain't even close.
Dorothea Lange took some great photos. This shot from 1936, usually called Migrant Mother, is her most famous.
For some great stories by people recalling their experiences during the Great Depression, read Studs Terkel's Hard Times.
Anybody ever seen the movie The Grapes of Wrath with Henry Fonda?
Can't be that hard of times. It appears the woman in the middle of the photo works for Target.
Roger I wasn't able to play the last video but the first two tell the story. My mother was born 1929. She had 2 sisters a few years older than her. My Grandfather worked for the city of Coleraine MN. But in 1932 the city laid him off and, because he couldn't pay the rent for the house they were living in, the landlord put them out on the street. As luck would have it Grandpa talked to a farmer that had a hog house and chicken coop that the family was welcome to live in if Grandpa would clean them up and make them good buildings. And so they had a place to live for a few years. I have photographs of the 3 little girls standing next to the hog barn and I can't help but feel the sadness in my heart when I look at the way they had to live. The oldest of the sisters is still alive and sharp as a tack. My mother passed in 1977 at 47 years old and the other sister died about 15 years ago. The saddest thing was, they were better off than most people living around them. A lot of the songs I remember are sung by Woody Guthrie.
At least your mother's family had each other and help from Grandfather. In some ways it's better to be in a heated and cleaned up hog barn with family and friends than to be alone in the world in a castle. And yup. the last link was to the Dust Bowl Ballads by Woody.
I was born during the Great Depression. I can tell you from personal experience, that it was the adults who suffered much more than the children. To me, things had always been that way. To the adults, they remembered how things were before and had something to compare to.
We children actually did better after we were grown, than those before or after! There were fewer of us, and it was easy to get a job and a promotion. There were always more older and more younger than we were. When the time came for promotions, we were about 10 years older than the baby boomers, and about 10 years younger than the retirees!
I can remember my mother telling me that we needed something for dinner. She was able to scrape up 25 cents and that was enough to buy dinner for 3. My dad worked with the grandparents in a furniture factory. Sometimes they didn't make enough money to pay him and he would bring home a piece of furniture. You can't eat furniture!
I was born on June 21, 1932, so I just turned 82. We lived better than many during the dust bowl years and the great depression. My father was an educator and at that time was the superintendent of schools in Montgomery, Minnesota. I believe he made $150 or so a month. On that he bought a new Willys sedan that year. "Hobos" would come to our back door looking for handouts. My mother would give them something to eat. There were 4 of us children and we all became teachers or school administrators.
Your right Roger. They were extremely fortunate. You've got the genealogy a little mixed. But the stories the same. The one thing that helped them immensely was the fact they were on a farm. They were able to have a garden and a few animals. And most of all a milk cow. They always had a jar of cool, fresh milk in the creek and they made their own butter. In those days with a roof or two over their heads and not needing two many groceries but the staples (flour, sugar, salt, etc) they lived pretty good. Grandma would get the trimmings when a hog was butchered and render lard. My Mom brought this way of life with her to my childhood home and we lived like this up until the mid 60's. Then Mom went to work. Dad always worked in the iron mines and we had a house instead of a hog barn but even at that we were poor. Dad did a lot of logging in the winter when the mines shut down and that helped a lot too. I grew up with a pickaroon, chainsaw and a limbing axe in my hands instead of a World of Warcraft game controller.
Like you I was born in 34 and we survived that time better than most. My dad was a butcher so food was never a problem, but for extra money we worked in the fruit industry picking and cutting cots and prunes for drying. Most of the other employees were families ( we called Okies and Arkies) were living in there cars in the fields,this is something I will never forget. I'd Like to see all of the collage students have to work like this in the summers in stead of running around on there parents dime, maybe they would be better equipt(sp). for life in the real world. Nuf said.