Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Photo To Fill in the Gap

This photo that I recently found among my great uncle's personal effects ranks up there among my favorite old photos. In it, it shows my great uncle as a baby being held in my great grandfather's arms while Lassie, the family dog looks on. I have many pictures of my great grandfather Victor and have posted a few of them in old posts. I guess because he and his wife Grace were still alive when I was old enough to remember them that they hold a special spot in my heart. But of the many pictures, I only have a few of young Victor between his World War I career and when his sons were already grown men.

Victor lost all his money in the Great Depression when the bank it was deposited in went belly up. In fact, he was in Texas when news first reached him of the banks imminent demise and he frantically called his wife back in Chicago to withdraw their money before it happened. Unfortunately his wife was in the hospital and in labor with the imminent birth of my grandfather. He came back home a broke man and had to begin his life all over. Perhaps that explains why there are few photographs of that era. By the time he was successful again, my great Uncle was off in World War II and my grandfather was in high school.

This picture was before all of that however. My great grandfather was trying his hand at farming and his first son has been born earlier that summer. Times were good and the Great Depression was still seven years away.


Anonymous said...

What was amazing about the 20's in the US was the very volume of cash in certain circles. The source came from profits from war industry. Which was seen as tainted by the older pre-war rich. Those that made their money investing in the west, Vanderbilt and the ilk. If you want to read about it, The Great Gatsby is a very good social comment on the cohort.
What made them extremely interesting was how they deployed their investments into the new inventions. Cars, airplanes and films. But where they excelled was in the development of the now cheap land within 50 miles of the cities that was devoted to fodder. But now with the expansion of cars, electric trams and suburban rail became largely useless in terms of the profits and simply became farmland.
The knock-on from this meant the utter destruction of farms in the mid-west and the west since the land on the outskirts became food producing and now devoted to fodder for horse-power.

ava wolf said...