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The Civilian Conservation Corps and A 1940s Barbershop

The current exhibit in the Museum features two different topics: a typical New Scotland barber shop and an examination of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

 

     A map at the entry of the Exhibit Room shows the location of Barber Shops in the Town of New Scotland. Featured in the exhibit are a chair and many tools of barbering donated by the family of a Voorheesville barber. There is also a collection of shaving mugs and shaving brushes from a time when many men had their own shaving mug and brush so they did not have to share a common one.

 

     Entering the larger part of the exhibit, a visitor would see a picture of President Franklin Roosevelt near a large floor-radio from the 1920s, reminiscent of the "Fireside Chats" with which Roosevelt stayed in contact with the American people. Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps at the height of the Depression. From 1933 to 1942, young men, most of whom were between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, were given jobs, vocational training, education, food, medical care, and $30 each month ("A Dollar A Day"). Of this amount, twenty-five dollars was sent home to the family of each man; the remaining five dollars was given to each man.

 

     Every state in the nation participated; New York State had the largest number, with 208 camps in the nine years of the program. The men contributed to the building of bridges, stocking of streams, digging of drainage ditches, creation of wildlife habitats, building of trails and roads, preservation of historic sites, building of picnic shelters, cabins, campgrounds, and restrooms and planting of trees. When the program ended in 1942 because of the war effort, many men joined the armed forces, already prepared with skills and the knowledge of working hard under a leader to accomplish a task.

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