Rare Historical Photos of London, Ohio During the Great Depression, 1938

The Farm Security Administration commissioned photographer Ben Shahn during the Great Depression to document Americans’ living and working conditions in farms, factories, cities, and villages. In 1938, he visited the small 4,600-person town of London, Ohio, and captured the residents as they strolled through the town’s main streets. The residents were affected by the Great Depression and were struggling economically.

Town families could not produce their food, and many families relied upon soup kitchens since the family had no money to buy food. Most people had no jobs and suffered pay cuts or worked reduced schedules during the Great Depression. The impact varied according to industry, class, race, location, and luck. The construction trades and the lumber industry suffered greatly, and in the mill towns and lumber camps of the US, unemployment surged.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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