Depression Era: Good Humor Ice Cream

New York woman recalls the formation of the Good Humor Ice Cream Co., by the mayor's wife, to employ New York men who had lost their jobs

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My mother's father was a teacher in New York City when the Depression hit. The teachers agreed to cut their salaries in half so that all of them could continue to work. After the Depression, their salaries were never raised to where they had been before the Depression started.

My mother had a friend whose father committed suicide when he lost his job.

The next-door neighbor of my mother's family was an engineer. When he lost his job he sold apples on the street corner.

Mrs. Walker, the wife of the New York City mayor, started the Good Humor Ice Cream Company. She employed men who had lost their jobs.

Both my parents talk about only having ice cream on birthdays and at no other times.

They also have said that during the Depression people only had to pay the taxes on their property. Mortgage payments were delayed.

My father's father had his own business during the Depression. People didn't pay their bills and my grandfather couldn't bring himself to send them a bill.

Meredith Sorenson
Fairport, New York


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.