Depression and Recovery in 1930s Tulsa

Tulsa Historical Society’s new exhibit features the stories and objects of Tulsans during this difficult decade.

By: Mary Waller | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: August 2014

“Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Depression and Recovery in the 1930s” will be on display until February 2015 at Tulsa Historical Society & Museum.

“Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Depression and Recovery in the 1930s” will be on display until February 2015 at Tulsa Historical Society & Museum.

The Tulsa Historical Society & Museum (THS) has opened a new exhibit exploring the financial calamities, broken dreams and the resilient can-do spirit of the 1930s in Tulsa. Titled “Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Depression and Recovery in the 1930s,” the exhibit is featured in the main gallery of the THS Travis Mansion, now through February 2015.

Michelle Place, executive director of THS, said, “Part of our mission as a respected research repository is to bring the voices of our city’s past to light, and in this case, we can through the photos, documents and artifacts we have from this period. Examining the difficult decades of our past, as well as the ingenuity and resilience of Tulsans of the time, helps us to better understand the community we have become.”

The 1930s exhibit will showcase the stories and objects of the everyday people, places and events that formed Tulsa during this make-or-break decade. As the 1920s roared to an end, so did the optimism, prosperity and technological advancements that were achieved during the decade.

What followed was a series of events that set up the worst economic downturn in American history. The 1930s emerged as a decade of bad luck. In northeastern Oklahoma, even the ever-reliable petroleum business fell apart. This exhibit tells that story.

“Museum visitors will be able to explore images, sounds, and artifacts from the 1930s, including clothing, toys, household furnishings and business items. A Model A Ford and the original Quaker Drug soda fountain are also on display. This is the same drugstore fountain that was installed at Steve’s Sundry in 1947,” explains THS Director of Exhibits Maggie Brown.

“Tulsa was plagued with the same problems seen across the country during the 30s: not enough jobs, failing businesses and banks, labor disputes and no support system for people in need,” added Place.

The Tulsa Historical Society & Museum at 2445 S. Peoria is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. “Like” it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tulsahistory.  

For more information, contact

Tulsa Historical Society & Museum

2445 S. Peoria
Tulsa, OK 74114
(918) 712-9484

www.tulsahistory.org
 


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