The Woman's Roles during the Depression Era Essay

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The Woman's Roles during the Depression Era

The U.S. experienced a Depression in 1929. The American economy collapsed and millions of people were out of jobs. The government's role during this time of economic crisis was to assist the citizens of this country in any way possible. This sometimes led to the development of experimental programs and projects. Greenbelt, Maryland, can be characterized as such. Greenbelt was a planned community designed to house low- to middle-income families. It attempted to provide a safe and cooperative environment where parents and children alike could live safely and harmoniously. It was built in 1936.

The Greenbelt museum is a model of the homes built after the Great Depression struck. It is a
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"Most urban kitchens designed during this period were square with floor space ranging from 9' X 10' in size to 10' X 12'." (Plante, 225) The counters are covered with kitchen accessories, ready to be used at any time. There is no pantry, only cabinets for limited storage. Small homes such as the one in Greenbelt did not have a lot of extra space. Each room was built to serve a basic purpose, not be luxurious. The aim was to house as many people as possible with the minimum amount of space possible. The cabinets are built into the wall. Everything is compact and neatly arranged. The walls and cabinets are painted a basic white to allow more light to enter the kitchen since it is so small. This is the basic kitchen.

In the early to mid 1930s, a revolution started to take place in the kitchen. Whereas before, the kitchen was plain and simple, a new emphasis on kitchen design, efficiency, appeal, and color was introduced. Manufacturers of kitchen implements began to launch campaigns aimed for a more pleasant, aesthetically attractive kitchen. Magazines were especially important in promoting this new consumer behavior. Women were encouraged to be proud of their space and decorate it in a manner becoming to them. This included purchasing new and improved, as well as colorful kitchen tools. "Written in a simple style and language women could relate to, numerous advertisements encouraged
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