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9

When Times Were Really Tough

It's hard for today's citizenry to relate to how their ancestors suffered during the Great Depression, since many of today's millennials consider mere lack of Wi-Fi an unendurable hardship. But how about when there was no work to be had for years on end and no money for new clothing or much else for that matter, as experienced by so many people in the USA between 1930 and 1940?

Pictures of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl are legion, but one area that has not had all that much exposure is the repurposing of animal feed sacks, bulk flour sacks, and other cloth sacks of that era into clothing and other goods habitually made from fabric. Flashbak has a series of photographs that document this activity, and some good anecdotes about how it affected the industries that sold these sacks as originally purposed. It seems that quality of contents was secondary to quality and patterns of the sacks themselves and this phenomenon disrupted the consumer products industry as nothing else ever had, and the race was on, as seen in the photographs archived therein.

So count your blessings in today's prosperous environment and have a look at the kind of thing your great-grandparents endured with a smile along with other newfangled traditions of the time such as Meatless Tuesdays.


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I remember saving the paper dividers from such things and nylon hose and new shirts to draw on. Some kids even used the paper wrapping from bars of soap.
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