Peter's Nostalgia Site

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Symbols of Optimism

The Great Depression brought considerable misery but also some amazing statements of optimism for a bright future.

Completed in 1933, the Empire State Building was built in just fourteen months  but remained half empty (sorry half full) throughout most of the depression. It was known as the Empty State Building and only achieved fully let status after the war.  None the less a truly enduring symbol of optimism.




A Government funded venture, the R101 competed directly with the private venture R100 and foundered on her maiden flight due to project mismanagement resulting in the complete termination of British airship development.  The R100 successfully flew to Canada and back but was scrapped after the R101 crash.




By far the most sophisticated and elegant of the transatlantic liners from the 30s, the Normandie met her unfortunate end whilst impounded in New York harbour. Fire took hold of her when being converted into a troop ship during the WW2. She overturned and sank due to the weight of water pumped in to extinguish the fire.



Tait's  Tower

Just a fleeting piece of optimism, The Tower of Empire, part of the 1938 Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. This over-egged illustration doesn't really do justice to Thomas Tait's exciting design.