Saturday, September 14, 2013

North Carolina WPA Stats


(North Carolina flag image, courtesy of Wikipedia and David Johnston. WPA image courtesy of the National Archives.)

In North Carolina, this is a "taste" of the what the WPA did:

WPA sewing room projects: 9.3 million items of clothing produced, for adults, children, and infants

School lunches served: Over 68 million

(WPA poster, image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.) 

Health clinics assisted or wholly operated: 65

Roadwork (new or improved roads): 14,119 miles

Bridges & viaducts (new or improved): 725

Culverts (new or improved): 21,251

Schools: 268 new or added-to schools, and 1,134 schools reconstructed or improved

Other public buildings: 789 new or added-to, and 467 reconstructed or improved

Parks (new or improved): 97

(WPA poster, image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

Playgrounds & athletic fields: (new or improved): 536

Swimming & wading pools (new or improved): 33

Utility plants (new or improved): 142

New water lines: 450 miles

New storm and sanitary sewers: 725 miles

Sanitary privies: 153,748 (People have sometimes, cruelly, made fun of the WPA for building "outhouses"; but in those days there were many public health problems associated with unsanitary facilities & conditions. The WPA, and local communities who sought the WPA's help, remedied this problem.)

(WPA poster, image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

Landing fields: 18 new, and 11 reconstructed or improved

Runways: 24.7 miles of new runways, and 14.5 miles of reconstructed or improved runways

Airport buildings (new or improved): 15  

"The WPA did not enlist for this battle today. They have been fighting the Battle for America for six years. Much more than one-half of America's airport construction has been the work of the WPA. Runways have been laid; buildings have been erected; utilities have been reconditioned; drainage systems have been installed. Nests for America's warbirds have taken shape out of raw fields and meadows."

--Brigadier General Michael F. Davis (radio transcription, 1941, National Archives, Record Group 69, Records of the Work Projects Administration)

(The large building in this photograph was built by the WPA as a school gymnasium. However, over the decades, it has served the town of Manteo, North Carolina in various ways. Here, in 1940, the building was used to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the United States Coast Guard. Image courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center.)

All Statistics from the Final Report on the WPA Program, 1935-43, by the Federal Works Agency. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946.

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