Outside the little 17th-century yeoman's home Dwellings were usually double-fronted (and normally one room deep, with two, three, or four "bays"), with a centrally located front entrance between one or two ground-floor wooden casement windows and dormer windows above. The roof was thatched with grass or clay.
Inside the house it was warm and comfortable. There were no electric lights, but there were candles or oil lamps. There might be fireplaces in the living room and dining room, but most houses didn't have them because there were usually fires outside in the open range or in ovens. The kitchen was probably no bigger than a closet today, but it had all the necessary equipment: an ice hole in the wall to keep meat frozen during long winters, a crane-like contraption for lifting heavy pots, and a big stone sink for washing vegetables and fruit.
The house would have been divided into rooms by curtains or blankets hung from a horizontal beam called a "crook." The beds would have been made with feathers or woolen blankets, and the floors would have been covered with rugs or boards. A table and chairs would have stood in the center of the room, with a fireplace at each end. A door would lead out to the privy behind the house. There would have been only one water source, which would have been either pumped from underground or taken from a well.
The Georgian Colonial mansion was a prominent style in the 1700s. They were symmetrical rectangle-shaped houses. They often featured windows that were positioned both vertically and horizontally across the front. They had either one enormous chimney in the center of the house or two, one on each end. The roof was usually covered with clay tiles.
There were three main types of Georgian houses: 1 The Virginia house had large rooms with high ceilings, double-hung sash windows, and wood floors. It was built around a central hall with an open staircase. 2 The Pennsylvania house had smaller rooms with low ceilings, single-paned windows, and brick or stone walls. There was no central hallway, but there was a wide foyer with a sweeping stairway leading to the second floor. 3 The South Carolina house had large rooms with high ceilings, double-hung sash windows, and wooden paneling or wainscoting. There was no central hallway, but there was a wide entryway with a sweeping stairway leading to the second floor.
In the 1800s, houses began to look different again. They became more formal, with larger rooms and fewer windows. Also, there were now bathrooms inside of the house! But most people still wanted to be close to the land, so they kept having backyards and patios. In fact, many families would share one big backyard instead of separate ones.
Houses in the 1930s had a relatively standard plan, with a room off the front hall and a second living room and kitchen at the back. These modest houses typically had two bedrooms, a small room, and a bathroom with a toilet upstairs. A separate garage would also be included. In larger cities, such as New York, Chicago, or Philadelphia, houses could be more luxurious, but they still tended to follow this basic layout.
In the 1930s, the majority of American homes were owned by their occupants rather than rented out. This means that they were not built for tourists or intended only for use during the summer months. The majority of houses were used for housing families who lived there year round.
During this time period, Americans were starting to work longer hours for less pay. In addition, many people were going without savings because consumer goods weren't affordable - including cars! - so people depended on income from employment for everything from food to transportation. When unemployment increased, so did poverty. Many poor people couldn't afford to rent homes, so they stayed in hotels or camped out in public spaces.
The Great Depression began in 1929 and didn't end until 1945. During that time, the economy went through several shocks including the collapse of the stock market and large-scale unemployment. The average household income dropped by about 30 percent.