Incredible Colorized Photos Show What Life of the U.S. Looked Like in the 1930s and ’40s

Street kids at play, Georgetown, Washington D.C., Summer 1935

The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasting from 1929 to 1939. It began after the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, the “Black Tuesday”, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors.

More: Flickr h/t: vintag.es

Street smart, Washington, D.C., 1935

Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and employment as failing companies laid off workers. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its lowest point, some 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half the country’s banks had failed.

Cigar store owner and his Indian, Manchester, New Hampshire, October 1936

The end to the Great Depression came about in 1941 with America’s entry into World War II. America sided with Britain, France and the Soviet Union against Germany, Italy, and Japan. The loss of lives in this war was staggering.

Son of a woodcutter, Eden Mills, Vermont, August 1936

The European part of the war ended with Germany’s surrender in May 1945. Japan surrendered in September 1945, after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

These incredible vintage photos were colorized by Lamont Cranston that revived life of the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s.

Steelworker listening to an unseen union organizer, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, July 1936

18 year-old mother from Oklahoma in California, March 1937

Anton Weber, a resettled farmer, Tompkins County, New York, September 1937

Biker girl, summer 1937

Men on “Skid Row”, Modesto, California, March 1937

Rosie’s Cafe, Texas, 1937

Sharecropper family, Hazlehurst, Georgia, July 1937

A farm wife waits for her husband at a farm auction near Oskaloosa, Kansas, October 1938

Magazine stand, Omaha, Nebraska, November 1938

Parade watchers, 1938

Father and daughter, 1939

Migrant workers camped beside a road near Prague, Oklahoma, June 1939

Tour guide, 1939 World’s Fair, New York City

Wife and child of an itinerant cane furniture maker, Wagoner County, Oklahoma, June 1939

Grand Central Station, New York City, April 1940

Moviegoers outside the Monroe Theater, Chicago, July 1940

Rainy day on Main Street, Norwich, Connecticut, November 1940

Teenagers and their jalopy, Belle Glade, Florida, June 1940

Couple, Chicago, 1941

High St., Holyoke, Massachusetts, September 1941

Teenage girls at a water fountain, Caldwell Idaho, June-July 1941

Three young women outside a church, southside Chicago, Easter morning 1941

Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival in May 1941

Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival in May 1941

A Grumman F4F Wildcat fighter plane displayed at a war bond event, Columbus Circle, New York City, September 1942

Girl sitting alone in the Sea Grill Bar waiting for a pickup, Washington, D.C., April 1942

Hollywood girl, 1942

Mrs. Ethel Oxley in the drugstore that her family ran on the main street of Southington, Connecticut for more than 200 years, 1942

Oxley’s Drug Store, Southington, Connecticut, May 1942

People gathered for Memorial Day commemoration on the town green, Southington, Connecticut, 30 May 1942

Jitterbugs, Washington DC, April 1943

People waiting for a Greyhound Bus in Indianapolis, Indiana, September 1943

Two 18 year-old ‘pit women’, June 1943. They worked near Concord, New Hampshire at a timber salvage sawmill

Waiting for a train, 1943

A crowd watching the news line on the Times building at Times Square, 6 June 1944

Shoe shiners take a lunch break, New York City, 1947

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