When you think of hygiene during the Great Depression, you might automatically assume the widespread unemployment and poverty resulted in a generally dirty and unkempt population. However, while many people were forced to live in unsanitary conditions, in truth, the Great Depression was as much a time of struggle as it was a period of innovation for keeping clean.
During the 1930s, maintaining a clean body and home was a point of pride. With economic and social hardship all around, cleanliness was something that was relatively controllable. Anxieties about hygiene also carried over to concerns about finding work - something advertisers seized upon with gusto. The development of new products and marketing strategies aimed at cleanliness demonstrate how much people truly valued staying clean.