10 Photos That Show What Dinner Was Like During The Great Depression.

If there’s one thing we learned from The Great Depression of the 1930s, it’s just how resilient we can be as a society. Times were hard, jobs were few, yet people remained positive and creative. Ingenious ideas like turning an old feed sack or flour bag into a new dress show why this was “The Greatest Generation.” Another shining example of our collective grit was the ability to keep food on the table for the family. We’ve already learned what a typical Depression-era breakfast might look like; now, thanks to these stunning photographs from Yale University’s Photogrammar, we can see what dinner was like during (and shortly after) the Depression, all around the country.

Preparing Dinner

“Preparing dinner for the six hundred fifty flood refugees encamped at Tent City near Shawneetown, Illinois.” (1937)

From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee
From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee

“Preparing dinner in migrant camp, Berrien County, Michigan.” (1940)

From: Photogrammar / John Vachon
From: Photogrammar / John Vachon

Dinner’s Ready

“The chef at the Rimrock Camp in the central Oregon land development project gets ready to go into action on the dinner gong. Oregon.” (1936)

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From: Photogrammar / Arthur Rothstein

“Camp cook blowing dinner horn, at camp near Effie, Minnesota.” (1937)

From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee
From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee

“Cowhand washing for dinner. Quarter Circle ‘U’ Ranch, Montana.” (1939)

From: Photogrammar / Arthur Rothstein
From: Photogrammar / Arthur Rothstein

Dinner is Served

“Cowboy dishing up chili at noonday dinner. Cattle ranch near Marfa, Texas.” (1939)

From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee
From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee

“Christmas dinner in home of Earl Pauley. Near Smithfield, Iowa. Dinner consisted of potatoes, cabbage and pie.” (1936)

From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee
From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee

“The Faro Caudill [family] eating dinner in their dugout, Pie Town, New Mexico.” (1940)

From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee
From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee

“Lumberjacks eating dinner at camp near Effie, Minnesota.” (1937)

From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee
From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee

“After dinner coffee, restaurant, Lufkin, Texas.” (1939)

From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee
From: Photogrammar / Russell Lee

These photos certainly put things in perspective. They definitely give us a lot to be thankful for, and a greater appreciation for our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents who may have lived through the Depression.

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