Small Town, Big Clock: 1938

Small Town, Big Clock: 1938

Optician advertising on big street level clock at Main and Court Streets, Circleville, Ohio. Old cars and 1930s fashion. Photo taken in 1938 by photographer Ben Shahn for the U.S. Resettlement Administration. LOC original medium: nitrate negative.

General caption for this series of images: Circleville, county seat of Pickaway County. Average small Ohio city, depending upon surrounding rich farmlands for its livelihood. Because of its non-industrial surroundings, retains much of old-time flavor. Outstanding industries: Eshelman's Feed Mill. Employs 150-200 men the year 'round. Pay averages about eighty-five cents an hour. Container Corporation of America makes paper out of straw, can absorb by-product of all neighboring farms. In addition, a number of canneries and feed mills. During depression many farms of the district were foreclosed. People who lost homes naturally gravitated toward the town. A town of its character is unable to house new influx of population. Consequently there sprang up around it an extensive Hooverville. Circleville got its name through having been built in a circle as a better protection against the Indians.