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“Times look pretty dark to some.”

This 1921 cartoon from the Chicago Tribune newspaper prescribes “good old fashioned hard work” as the cure for the 1920–21 economic depression. While this artist attributed unemployment to lack of motivation, for many workers and their families employment remained unstable throughout the decade. Corporations, along with skilled and white collar workers, saw their earnings rise considerably during the 1920s, but unskilled or blue collar workers saw only modest increases or found their income decreasing. Growing inequality meant that even in a decade of prosperity, two-fifths of Americans lived in poverty.

Source: Carey Orr, Chicago Tribune, 1921—American Social History Project.