Common Jobs in the Depression Era

Louisiana woman recalls common jobs during the depression era.

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During the depression era, my father and uncle and many friends worked on jobs such as saw mills and pipelines. Day hands on a plantation got 50 cents a day. Other jobs were cutting hay, plowing, spreading gravel on the highway, cutting pulpwood, hauling logs with a log wagon, working on the railroad, and being a conductor on a passenger train. Fishing for a market, working at a dairy and well digging for drinking water were other common jobs.

Willie Mae Faulkner
Shreveport, Louisiana


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.