Thursday, June 21, 2012

1940: 520 Delaware


Another in a series of posts based on the tax reassessment photos of 1940. Learn more here. 

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Unemployment is just below 15 percent, down nine points in the eight years Franklin D. Roosevelt has been president. Congress is appropriating less this year for the Works Projects Administration payroll, so thousands of Americans will lose their road-building jobs, or their ditch-digging jobs, or their tree-planting jobs. (Kansas City has about 9,000 WPA workers.) Some of them, in light of another war escalating overseas, will hire on in factories devoted to the new military buildup.

If you need a job, you might check the windows of the Big 4 Employment Agency, 520 Delaware Street, which display the hand-lettered possibilities for putting food on your table – or perhaps someone else's.

Among the listings you'll find: Farm hand, (seems appropriate, just a block from the new City Market), truck driver, dishwasher, and waitress. Notice, too, each necessary distinction: "married" farm hand, "Mexican" truck driver and "white" dishwasher. Apparently you can be any sort of waitress, assuming you're a good one.

You also should check the help-wanted ads in the Sunday newspaper. If you're a boy of 14 or 15 you can earn room, board and clothing in exchange for unspecified work. Men are sought to pick potatoes in Levasy, Missouri, to rebuild wrecked autos in Great Bend, Kansas, to drive dusty highways in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, peddling ruffled curtains on commission. If you're a "Couple, Colored" willing to stay nights, you can cook, clean, chauffeur and do yard work in another couple's home. Girls over 18 are needed to provide curb service at the Phillips 66 at Swope Parkway and Benton.

And a restaurant on Troost is looking for a waitress. Age, race unspecified. Pays three dollars a week.

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