Boom to Bust a photo story by michael welch

The Great Depression turned America from an upbeat, fun-loving, wealthy country into a place full of despair and tragedy, where somber faces roamed every city across the nation. There were many factors which played into this time period still being considered the worst America has ever dealt with still today. Whether it was the stock market crash or the Dust Bowl, all had effects that changed America, usually for the worse.

Home life

But not only on the outsides, people came home to struggles as well. Many husbands were in charge of keeping their family stable during these tough times. Because of this, lots filed a “poor man's divorce”, which is basically leaving your family out of desperation. Although many rural styled families were already facing their own sort of Depression, this time came with a whole new threat: the Dust Bowl. Obliterating homes, the Dust Bowl swept across the Great Plains. If your financial problems were not enough to force you to move, this was.

Poor result to Hoovervilles

Tons of poor people turn to living in Hoovervilles to avoid paying off regular homes.

Loved ones move on

Many watch as their friends and family are forced to leave and pursue a new life.

Families forced out

Family of five (pictured) before leaving their farm, for good.

Dust Bowl ruins home, and many more

Dust Bowl sweeps the Great Plains to the demise of all residents.

Leisure time

Unlike the 1920s, the 30s was no time for fun and games. Even if you were able to scrape together some time for your own interests, there was not much you could do. If you were not looking for a job, you did not get a job, and if you didn’t get a job, you didn’t live. This problem was faced by many Industrialists who were suddenly laid off because of the Great Depression. Companies could not afford their service with the low income they were making.

Couple has grand time in nyc

This care free fun loving couple is a perfect example of the decade. What could go wrong?

Desperate men look for work

With the recent increase in workers being lain off, these two hit the streets to advertise their abilities.


These women were free spirited and could dance while enjoying themselves in clothing that was not traditional.


The term “Boom to Bust” was not widely associated with the Great Depression for no reason. This term can specifically relate to the economy in America. A big part of this was the stock market crash in October 1929. The crash resulted in tons of industrialists losing up to millions of dollars in stock. Although it was terrible, the stock market crash did not reach out all across the nation, such as to farmers who never even heard of stock besides their own livestock.

stock market crash

As banks had begun to lose all their money, customers came in trying to get their money back in hopes they would not go broke. But, it was unfortunate that they had lost everything.


Banks had lost all their money and were shut down when they went bankrupt because the stock market had crashed.

men lose all their money

This man had to face everything knowing he had lost all of his money due to the banks shutting down when the stock market crashed.

abandon factory

This factory was no longer any use because there were no workers to make the goods that people could no longer afford.

Role of Government

The Great Depression taught new lessons to the country and warranted for the policies of government to be changed. During this time, a hands on, helpful government is what the country needed. So, that is what most of them received. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created new policies such as the New Deal to jumpstart America and most of its citizens. These changes were necessary to get the nation back on its feet.

new authority in the white house

President Roosevelt had won the election coming in knowing he had high hopes to recover America.

roosevelt's speech

Roosevelt had given his speech to empower those who had lost hope and when everyone lived in despair. He wanted them to know that it would get better.

new laws passed

The AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Act) was passed to help control the of basic crops.

back at work on the farm

Farmers had returned to their jobs when there was more control over the crops.

The Great Depression was a time of new lessons for America. A large portion of changes still impact how America is running today, showing the importance of the era and how vital those changes were.

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