Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What My Grandfathers Made in 1940

Grandparents Gwen & Hjalmar on left, 1930's
With the 1940 census just being released at the beginning of April, 2012, I've already perused it. Most of the information I know, like the names of my family members, and their birth dates, etc... Though it is still exciting to witness history captured in time, the census seemingly doesn't add much detail to the family story. However the 1940 census recorded salary information, so I looked up what each of my grandfathers made in 1940. 

Surprisingly, both were employed, which I guess during the Depression was a feat in itself. Not surprisingly, my grandfather Taylor (my dad's father) made more money than my grandfather Grimstad. I say 'not surprisingly' because my grandfather Taylor was a U.S. citizen. My mother's father, on the other hand, was a Norwegian immigrant and also not a U.S. citizen at the time. I'm assuming it made a difference in terms of employment opportunities. 
My grandfather in 1957, still at Elliott
I know my grandfather Grimstad worked as a painter, and probably received a salary 'under the table.' He made 340 dollars in the year 1940. My dad's father William worked as a printer machinist at The Elliott Addressing Machine Company in Cambridge. The building still stands in Central Sq. In fact, my grandfather William served as an auxiliary military police officer during the war from 1943-44, as a guard for the company. In 1940, he made 1,130 dollars.

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