20 Rare Photos Taken In Iowa During The Great Depression

The Great Depression began in October 1929 with the largest stock market crash America had ever seen. In three days, investors lost $5 billion, and by the end of the year, losses reached $11 billion. By 1933, as many as 13 to 15 million Americans were without work and almost half of the nation’s banks had gone under.

For Iowans, the hard times started about 10 years earlier when prices for crops and land dropped, and machinery costs rose to very high levels. Most farmers couldn’t afford to pay off their loans, and banks were forced to close. Even before the collapse, many rural Iowans were struggling financially, and most farm families didn’t have electricity in their homes. When the Depression hit, things only got worse. The following photos show us a glimpse of what life was like back then, and will remind us all of what we have to be thankful for today.

These powerful images are reminders of the times that many of our parents and grandparents lived through. And they certainly drive home the fact that we have much to be grateful for as we head into the holiday season, especially as we realize that there are many who are still in need, even in Iowa.