42 Incredible Colorized Photos Show What Life of the U.S. Looked Like in the 1930s and ’40s


The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasting from 1929 to 1939. It began after the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, the “Black Tuesday”, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors.

Life of the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and employment as failing companies laid off workers. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its lowest point, some 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half the country’s banks had failed. The end to the Great Depression came about in 1941 with America’s entry into World War II. America sided with Britain, France and the Soviet Union against Germany, Italy, and Japan. The loss of lives in this war was staggering. The European part of the war ended with Germany’s surrender in May 1945. Japan surrendered in September 1945, after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These incredible vintage photos were colorized by Lamont Cranston that revived life of the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s.  Street kids at play, Georgetown, Washington D.C., Summer 1935


 Street smart, Washington, D.C., 1935


 Cigar store owner and his Indian, Manchester, New Hampshire, October 1936


 Son of a woodcutter, Eden Mills, Vermont, August 1936


 Steelworker listening to an unseen union organizer, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, July 1936


18 year-old mother from Oklahoma in California, March 1937


Anton Weber, a resettled farmer, Tompkins County, New York, September 1937


Biker girl, summer 1937


Men on “Skid Row”, Modesto, California, March 1937


Rosie’s Cafe, Texas, 1937


Sharecropper family, Hazlehurst, Georgia, July 1937


A farm wife waits for her husband at a farm auction near Oskaloosa, Kansas, October 1938


Magazine stand, Omaha, Nebraska, November 1938


Parade watchers, 1938


Father and daughter, 1939


Migrant workers camped beside a road near Prague, Oklahoma, June 1939


Tour guide, 1939 World’s Fair, New York City


Wife and child of an itinerant cane furniture maker, Wagoner County, Oklahoma, June 1939


Grand Central Station, New York City, April 1940


Moviegoers outside the Monroe Theater, Chicago, July 1940


Rainy day on Main Street, Norwich, Connecticut, November 1940


Teenagers and their jalopy, Belle Glade, Florida, June 1940


Couple, Chicago, 1941


High St., Holyoke, Massachusetts, September 1941


Teenage girls at a water fountain, Caldwell Idaho, June-July 1941


Three young women outside a church, southside Chicago, Easter morning 1941


Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival in May 1941


Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival in May 1941


A Grumman F4F Wildcat fighter plane displayed at a war bond event, Columbus Circle, New York City, September 1942


Girl sitting alone in the Sea Grill Bar waiting for a pickup, Washington, D.C., April 1942


Hollywood girl, 1942


Mrs. Ethel Oxley in the drugstore that her family ran on the main street of Southington, Connecticut for more than 200 years, 1942


Oxley’s Drug Store, Southington, Connecticut, May 1942


People gathered for Memorial Day commemoration on the town green, Southington, Connecticut, 30 May 1942


Jitterbugs, Washington DC, April 1943


People waiting for a Greyhound Bus in Indianapolis, Indiana, September 1943


Two 18 year-old ‘pit women’, June 1943. They worked near Concord, New Hampshire at a timber salvage sawmill


Waiting for a train, 1943


A crowd watching the news line on the Times building at Times Square, 6 June 1944


 Shoe shiners take a lunch break, New York City, 1947


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