While we today think a house has to get a certificate of occupancy from the government, some were just happy for a basic roof over their heads.
A one-room hut houses a family of nine in an open field between Camden and Bruceton, Tennessee, near the Tennessee River. The hut was built over the chassis of an abandoned Ford. Photograph by Carl Mydans, 1936
While their living quarters were rough, the basic necessities of life were even more sparce for the true poor.
The mother in a family of nine holds her baby. The family lives in a field on U.S. Route 70 in Tennessee, near the Tennessee River. Photograph by Carl Mydans, 1936If you click on the image it will go to a larger image. Note the flour sack skirt.
In a way I'm surprised at this image. Note that her skirt is made of an unpatterned flour sack. Flour sacks were available in nice patterns to make clothing out of. Due to my age I touched upon this lifestyle just one time. When I was an infant in Kentucky, my mother was visiting my grandmother. In her life they wore a lot of cloths made from flour sacks. My grandmother made me a single one piece jumper out of some flour sack material that she still had in a chest. She got bothered with my mom when she took me to town in it. After all a lot of people could still recognize the old patterns back then, and it might have looked "poor".
With no WalMarts back then the general store was what you got everything at. And I do mean everything.
October 1935. View of the L.F. Kitts general store in Maynardville, Tennessee.As all other states there were rich and poor. One of the historical events to effect the people of Tennessee was the TVA.
We went from this kitchen for the truly poor:
A 12-year-old girl in a family of nine cooks a meal in a rude, open lean-to hut in Tennessee. The family lives in an open field near the Tennessee River.To having this style of kitchen available:
Photograph by Carl Mydans, 1936
A modern kitchen in a Tennessee Valley Authority house. Kitchen equipment for one of the new demountable houses, which the TVA is building for defense workers in the Muscle Shoals area in northern Alabama, includes electric range, water heater, and refrigerator. Photo from the Farm Security Administration Office of War Information Photograph Collection, 1941
A lot of history in our state.