I always joke that I was born in the wrong era.
If I could have been 20something in the 1940’s and ’50’s, I feel like I would have fit in perfectly.
But, I’ll do some serious real-talk for a moment, the early twentieth century wasn’t the easiest time in which to live. World Wars, the Great Depression–those people had actual serious problems, rather than our “outrage” that people are rich. (Yeah, not a fan of the Occupy movement, if you couldn’t tell. We have bigger things to worry about.) I once wrote a paper about one of my favorite books, “The Sun Also Rises”. The epitaph of Hemingway’s book was a quote by Gertrude Stein: You are all a lost generation.
The Lost Generation was a term used to refer to the twentysomethings who lived through the Great War. They had seen so much death and pain at such a young age that they became jaded and cold once they returned to their regular lives. Much of the opulence and hedonism of the “Roaring Twenties” was the direct result of this generation’s attempt to feel something–anything.
When I compare the sufferings of our nation during that time to my entitled, spoiled generation of today, well…I feel ashamed. People then were starving, dying, and fighting actual evil in the world. Today? We get upset that our healthcare isn’t free.
I think the most amazing thing about these pictures is how many women working–on air bombers or plane engines or car factories. Something I love about stories from that time is that people were willing to work towards the common good of everyone. Can you imagine if today, we found ourselves embroiled in a world-war where all the men had been drafted? How many women would be willing to jump and do whatever they could to help the cause? To sacrifice their daily luxuries so that more could be sent to help the soldiers? (My grandmother told me a story of how once, during a basketball game, a player lost her bobby pin. The game stopped so both teams could get down and look for it. That’s how precious things like that were during the war.)
I’d imagine that many people were against war, even in those days. But, put yourself in their shoes. Even if you were morally opposed to something, if it was for the good of the entire nation, would you be willing to contribute? As a woman, would you be willing to go without things you loved, or work a job that was demanding and dirty?
Man. Now I feel like I’m lecturing, but thinking about this makes me sad. We’re not the same nation we used to be, and when I hear my peers complaining about only making $40k at their admin job, or the fact that they don’t have enough money to go on Spring Break, or that they’re angry the rich don’t pay more in taxes, I just want to shake them and say BE THANKFUL. Look at all these hardships our country went through not even sixty years ago. Whenever I see those old men with the WWII hats on, I always make a point to approach them and thank them for what they did…
Okay. Political/moral rants are over. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments, but I warn you, I get feisty about stuff like this.
What I really wanted to post where these amazing color photos from the Depression era. Color photos were pretty rare then, so these are pretty special.
If you’d like to read the full article from the International Business Times, click here. All the pictures have been taken from that site as well.
|Can’t help but love that she’s still rocking her red lipstick.|
|Always love a man in uniform.|
|Awww…I love all their little faces.|
|She is manufacturing self-sealing gas tanks for Goodyear….while rocking the most adorable navy/white dress and red lipstick. I think this might be my great-grandmother?|
|Working on airplane motors…and wearing red lipstick.|
|I admit, this picture made me a little choked up. This is the French people gathered to cheer for the Allied troops after they liberated Paris in 1944.|