Talk:Great Depression

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More resources

Horwitz mentions an interesting upcoming resource, a study on the effect of war on the lives of ordinary Americans. This is a note to keep an eye out on when it is finished, looks like a prime candidate for inclusion. Might be ready within a few months. Pestergaines 05:01, 13 February 2011 (CST)

An article says Hayek predicted the Great Depression. It would be interesting to find the correctly dated quote. Pestergaines 22:14, 22 June 2011 (MSD)

More on Roosevelt's campaign:

Pestergaines 14:09, 17 March 2012 (MSK)

Also, Gary Anderson's "The 1946 Voter Revolt Against Government Regulation" (see references) has more on the de-regulation after WWII, for those who are interested or want to process that. Pestergaines (talk) 01:11, 2 December 2012 (MSK)

Metal-Working Equipment during the Great Depression

In 1945, Benjamin M. Anderson noted the effect of the New Deal on industrial equipment, which could be found in the average length of life for tools and machines in factories.[1]

Percentage of Metalworking Equipment Older than Ten Years
1925 44%
1930 48%
1935 65%
1940 70%[1]
1945 41% *)
1953 52%
1963 64%
1968 63%[2]

*) Note: In 1945, US industrial plants held 1.7 machine tools and over a quarter million metal forming tools, roughly double the 1939 estimate. In dramatic contrast with the mid-1930s, one million (59%) of these tools were less than ten years old, the highest proportion of operating "new" machines at any point in the twentieth century.

At war‟s end, it was estimated that a half-million or more GOCO (government owned – contractor operated) tools lurked somewhere around the country. With blizzards of war contract cancellations, many of them would become idle, few being "adopted" by their current operators, and thus most would be dumped onto US and foreign markets, crushing demand for years to come.

Early in 1946, the War Assets Office published a review of surplus machine tools on hand, counting just over 90,000. Later, the number of surplus tools listed for sale tripled to 266,000, with the final total expected to reach 325,000.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Benjamin M. Anderson. "Financing American Prosperity: A Symposium of Economists", The Twentieth Century Fund, Editors: Paul T. Homan and Fritz Machlup. First published October 1945. Referenced 2012-03-06. "We had idle labor of 9 million men in 1939. We had idle money on a colossal scale. We had idle technological ideas, as represented by the figures given above for obsolescence in equipment in our industries, on an appalling scale. War put them to work, but it took the war to do it."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Philip Scranton. "From Depression to Globalization: Reconfiguring 20th Century American Machinery and Machine Tool Building" (pdf), Rutgers University, p. 36-39, 55, 87 06-14-2003. Referenced 2012-03-06.

Caveat: the original source "American Machinist Inventories of Metal-Working Equipment" does not seem to have any online version, all numbers are from derived sources.