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Thread: Question for US members

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Question for US members

    When history of the USA was taught in your time at school, did you get taught about the depression of the 1890's specifically what i understand to be the panic of 1893.

    Also in your family handed down worldly knowledge related to life experiences was there ever talk of lessons learnt i this regard or mention made of keeping say silver or gold as a back up for family security.

    Note this is just curiosity as i try to get some understanding of the past.

    I had never heard of this depression only of the more recent one most mentioned in my family that of the 20's / 30's.

    What struck me as interesting and fascinating is that around that time railroads were the "thing" being over built and privately financed.
    Never occurred to me that railroads would be privately financed given most of my exposure has been to state owned railroad co's even in Europe most were state owned in my early years and only relatively recently (in historical terms) became private entitys post Thatcher era.

    So the cycles and patterns of collapse and rise are not new to the landscape in North America.

    Unemployment around those times also reached crazy numbers by percentage of the population.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    I consider my self pretty learned about US history but I'm unfamiliar with that depression.

    In the 1930"s Roosevelt made it illegal to own gold. Everyone was supposed to turn in for cash all gold coins. My grand parents squirreled a few away and always told me that precious metals were the best investment. Can't quite remember when it became legal to own it again, Maybe Reagan repealed it
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Lindale, TX
    I believe my great-great grandparents immigrated shortly before or during the depression of the 1890's. I think my great grandfather was born in Germany and was a boy during that depression. My grandmother was his oldest daughter and came of age during the Great Depression. She never really talked with me about it, but my Dad shared some of her stories with me from time to time. One of my strongest childhood memories of her house though is her basement. It was stocked with more canned goods than a supermarket. She had tons of food down there. Family always said it was because she never had enough to eat as a child and that she was raised by a man who never had enough to eat as a child. My great granddad was a big man when he was grown (6'7" 270) and the family story goes that it was often that he only had 1/2 or 1/3 of a sausage to eat for a day when he was a growing boy. It's easy to imagine the hunger. family stories about keeping gold, but hoarding food is in the family history.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Prior to the 1930's, American economic history was filled with booms and busts. It was like riding a roller coaster: stunning exhilaration one year, horrific panic and deprivation the next. There's a reason Keynesian economics came into existence, even if people don't remember what it was like before that. You can find a list of the worst ones here. Don't feel bad if your eyes start to glaze over after a while: it's a long, sad story...



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I hadn't really heard of that one either. I remember stories of the one in the 30's from my grandparents. Both did well during those times as both had large farms and were pretty diverse in ways they brought in income, but they had most everything they needed without needing much income too. I remember stories of my great grandfather having a still, grandma dotting eggs with lard for sale in town on Saturdays, and grandpa raising skunks (for the pelts, I think). My dad said that the barn always had several skunks in it in one corner pen, my grandpa could handle them without getting sprayed.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    The depression of the 30's started in 1929. I lived through it. What we have had recently is terrible. However, from the 1929 depression people's outlook---When things got as good as today's depression, the 29ers thought the world was wonderful again.

    1941 was the turning point in my mind. Life was pretty good for most people. Some of the best automobiles the USA made, were made in the 40's. Just when things were getting to the level I would call wonderful the Nazis had grown to be a horrible menace. (In my opinion that is where Sadam would have gone if we had not stopped him. We lost thousands of lives in the Sadam war---but Hitler cost us millions of lives.)

    We did not try to help Germany after WWI like we did Japan after WWII. The German economy blew apart. Erzaz (Fiat, Fake) money was produced at an unbelieveable rate. Those who had work were paid twice a day. You got your pay. You went shopping for food, etc. When you left work that night, you were paid again because the food you purchased at noon, now cost a great deal more and, of course, it was much higher the next morning. No wonder the Germans followed anyone who seemed to be able to give them a chance...Even a nut like Hitler.

    I am going to shut up and say, Enjoy,

    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 04-11-2012 at 09:16 PM.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Thanks guys. Bill thats a great wikki thread.

    There is a lot to be said for knowing the financial worlds history.

    There are some lesser but significant events not listed there I wonder how they decided what to list and not.

    Looking at the list Bill linked to I am reminded of the poem that goes that starts with

    If. .....

    Where the first line says "keep your head"

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