Iowa March 09, 2019
These 12 Candid Photos Show What Life Was Like In Iowa In The 1940s
The history of Iowa is fascinating. While most Iowans now live in cities, there’s no denying the rural roots to our great farming state. Take a look at how Iowa’s cities and farm towns looked back in the 1940s, when everyone was still recovering from the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
Back in the early 1940s, there was a big difference between city life and farm life. Des Moines was vibrant and busy thanks to economic recovery efforts.
In Dubuque, residents still recovering from the Depression maintained shantytowns and kept just a few chickens for meat and eggs. The "wealthiest" shantytown residents had a cow, or some goats as well.
In town, men lined up every evening to pick up a meal for themselves, or for their families. Churches and government programs helped people get back on their feet after a decade of economic struggle.
The Farm Security Administration lent money to farmers, allowing them to continue working their land. This borrower in Story, Iowa, was able to keep her family fed thanks to the program.
Not all was gloomy! The 1940s began to pull Iowa out of economic strife. Farmers tested hybrid seeds, which were hardier and offered higher yields.
Many Iowans had to find work doing various odd jobs during the depression, and turned these jobs into new opportunity. Here, two men show off their skills painting signs in Ames.
Education remained important to Iowa during the early 1940s. Here, you'll see two girls walking home from class in the town of Newton.
This photo of Iowa City newsboy shows just how much our cities have changed. Could you even imagine this scene today?
Thanks to an improving economy and the New Deal, Iowans were optimistic in the 40s! This dance hall in Marshalltown was always busy on a Saturday night.
Dubuque is a city that's older than the state of Iowa itself, and it was a popular residential city and tourist town as far back as anyone can remember.
Pictured below is one of the oldest residential streets in the state! Dubuque is still full of historic architecture today.
Iowa has always been a wonderful, vibrant state, and when you look back in time it is amazing to see how the Hawkeye State has evolved.
How cool is it to look back in time? Luckily, there are so many preserved photographs of the Hawkeye State. Read
There’s Something Special About These 14 Iowa Farms From The Past to see more of Iowa’s history.