Thursday, December 29, 2011

The 1930s Project

I've been kicking around an idea here for a couple of years, and perhaps by making an official announcement  on this blog I can jump start it. Please join me for the adventure!

I have always been fascinated by the 1930s. Ever since I discovered big band swing in 7th grade I have been enthralled by the Art Deco era. All of it- the history, politics, and economics as well as the lighter side of entertainment, fashion and culture. Seriously studying the 1930s has been my avocation since I was in college. Even as an undergrad music major, I spent far more time with Paul Hindemith and Weimar Germany than I did with many of my friends. As a graduate student, I focused on early 20th Century material culture- the artifacts of technology, transportation and manufacturing from the period. And while I may know a lot of facts, I have always felt that I was missing the experience portion of the equation.

I have always wanted to know what it would have been like to truly live during the 1930s. I would like to do an  experiment in which I put aside most of our modern conveniences and live as a Depression-era housewife. Of course, I do have a family and their needs will have to be accounted for, but I will try to do my best to accomplish all of this in as authentic a way as possible.

Perhaps some of you have had similar thoughts. For some reason I haven't talked about it a whole lot on this blog, partly because most of my readers are into the 1950s. And while I like that time period, I have never really felt the pull to live it like I have with the 1930s-early 40s era. I am also aware that there are other people who do this as a lifestyle (some of whom are my good friends) and have been doing so for years. I admire that and I am by no means considering myself an expert on this- I just want to see if I can do it for myself!

So I am announcing the start of this project in which I live as a 1930s housewife for two weeks in August of 2012. The adventure will start with background posts leading up to it at my other blog:

Or you can join me facebook:

See you later, gator!


  1. I'm excited! The 20s and 30s are more my thing. I will be following along!!
    plus, for Christmas hubby got me a reproduction book from the 30s of dress cutting and how to make patterns for the dresses of that era!

  2. I have several DVD's on the 1939New York World's Fair you can buy them on a website. Film shot by tourists, amazing to see the clothes and buildings. From the introduction of TV to Dali's surreal building. It will transport you back in time. Good luck!

  3. I think this will be a fascinating project, and I'll look forward to your posts.

    My grandmothers talked about making soap, using a tabletop butter churn, washing clothes with a washboard. When I was a kid, my paternal great-grandmother still refused to have indoor plumbing, except for a hand pump at her sink. My paternal great-grandfather owned an ice house. I fear I'm way too lazy for that kind of life, but it does interest me.

  4. Lapetitemort- What is the title of that book? I'm not much of a sewing machine seamstress, but I can work a needle & thread.

    John- I would love that!

    Dana- One of the reasons I want to try this is that I really want to learn how to do those things!

  5. Wow very ambitious! I can't wait to see how it turns out. Good luck!

  6. I envy your commitment to go totally Thirties for two whole weeks!!! I feel like such a hypocrite now for letting myself be talked into getting a cellphone last summer... Which I'm using right now to make this comment ;)