Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cincinnati During the Depression Era

I was doing some historical research on cincinnati architecture and I stumbled upon some interesting, if not somewhat haunting, photos of Cincinnati during the Great Depression. The first one shows a Second Empire cottage that was once undoutedly well cared for that had fallen on hard times. Note the stained glass panels on the windows

The interior shot shows living conditions back then. As you can see, life pretty much revolved around keeping warm as evidences by the wood stove. Entire families often lived in one room as many large houses were converted to "boarding houses". Some houses might house six or seven families.

This hill side shot shows the cobble streets and the location is not given for this one but even though it is Cincinnati, it almost looks like western europe during the war. Somewhat bleak and barren looking. Coal dust and soot covered everything. The angles on this photo are very interesting. Note the steps going up the hill.

All these photos were shot by the well known photographer Carl Mydans and show conditions in Cincinnati during the depression, especially among the Appalacian poor that flocked to Cincinnat looking for work when the Depression hit. Its important to remember that in the Depression most of thes homes were already 50-70 years old.
You can search the collection By' googling" Haebs Haer. Once at the site you can find these by searching on Hamilton County, Ohio or Cincinnati or Carl Mydans. There are dozens of photos in the collection and it really makes you realize that while our present economic times may be tough, we have it easy by comparison.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Great photos! I am going to have to look at them more closely.