Depression Era: New Clothes From a Second-Hand Store

Illinois woman recalls her mother making new garments from second-hand clothes during the depression era.

| Good Old Days

I was from a very large family and when I was in my teens during the depression era, my mother would go to a second-hand store and purchase a bushel basket of clothes for fifty cents. She would then make over and patch things and then hand them down to the next smaller kids as one outgrew things (if they were not worn out).

I never had a store-bought dress until I graduated from eighth grade in a one-room schoolhouse.

We had to go without many things; but we were happy, as contentment is found, not in having everything, but being satisfied with everything we have.

Mrs. James Gray
Rockton, Illinois

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. 


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