Teaching Materials
Ask a Master Teacher
Lesson Plan Gateway
Lesson Plan Reviews
State Standards
Teaching Guides
Digital Classroom
Ask a Digital Historian
Tech for Teachers
Beyond the Chalkboard
History Content
Ask a Historian
Beyond the Textbook
History Content Gateway
History in Multimedia
Museums and Historic Sites
National Resources
Website Reviews
Issues and Research
Report on the State of History Education
Research Briefs
Best Practices
Examples of Historical Thinking
Teaching in Action
Teaching with Textbooks
Using Primary Sources
TAH Projects
Lessons Learned
Project Directors Conference
Project Spotlight
TAH Projects
Technical Working Group
Research Advisors
Teacher Representatives
Quiz Rules
Teaching History.org logo and contact info

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) Photographs

strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/websites/teachinghistory.org/sites/all/modules/date/date_api.module on line 866.
Photo, Distribution of clothing at 413 Fairview Avenue, Seattle, Oct. 10, 1934.

When President Roosevelt created the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) in May of 1933, the nation was in the throes of the Great Depression. Roughly 15 million Americans were unemployed, many of whom had lost both their livelihoods and their life savings. FERA maintained local relief organizations that created work projects for the unemployed, primarily construction and engineering projects. This collection of close to 200 photographs documents the work of FERA in King County, Washington, which includes Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue.

The bulk of photographs depict construction projects for roads, bridges, schools, public buildings, and parks. Workers also appear working on sewing machines as well as at relief centers, the blacksmiths' forge, the furniture factory, and the sheet metal workshop. Together, these photographs shed light on not only the development of King County, but also on important general aspects of the New Deal program they sought to document.