Family and the Great Depression

Overcoming Challenges

"The depression had a devastating effect on all of the families."

"The depression had a devastating effect on all of the families because most of the workers were dependent on manufacturing products. And families really struggled. The families were too proud to apply for welfare. And they tried to do this on their own. 

My family is one of the lucky ones because my father was able to work about three days a week. But, that was not the case with my wife, Marie. She had a sister and, and three brothers, and her father was laid off. He also worked for the American Locomotive Company. And she told me many times that they really had nothing to eat.  But the older brother was a carpenter and he was able to find various jobs and make enough money to support the family. And that really stuck with her. In fact, it carried on into our marriage. Because of the hardship in her teen years, she was very careful about how we spent our money. And I am thankful to her that I am in the position I am today."

Editor’s note: The Great Depression, a period of profound economic decline that began in 1929 and lingered into the late 1930s, serves as a stark reminder of economic vulnerability. Precipitated by a catastrophic stock market crash, the Depression triggered a domino effect that crippled financial institutions, leading to widespread bank failures and a subsequent dearth of credit. This, in turn, resulted in a dramatic decline in industrial output and a surge in unemployment, leaving millions without jobs and basic necessities. The era witnessed deflation, a phenomenon where prices fall due to a decrease in demand, further straining household budgets. The Great Depression's repercussions transcended national borders, disrupting international trade and fostering political instability.