scottedelman (scottedelman) wrote,

1932: "Stop Crying, Start Buying"

Yesterday was quite busy. Irene and I headed into D.C. for a matinee of Henry VIII at the Folger Theatre, taking off early enough to first visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum for an exhibit of Norman Rockwell paintings owned by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. (And leaving time for lunch in Chinatown, too, of course.)

In the evening, we swooped down on Rockville and had dinner with our son, after which we hung around in Maryland poring over family memorabilia. One particularly fascinating item was a coin which we assumed had belonged to my late mother-in-law's father, John Aloysius Brown. The coin, celebrating the end of the depression, had been produced in 1932 by Stewart-Warner, a company that in its earliest incarnation had produced the speedometers that were used in the Ford Model T.

On one side, we're exhorted to "Stop Crying, Start Buying," a sentiment I could imagine our government urging us to embrace today.

So far, that makes this an interesting curiosity, but nothing that verges on OMG or WTF territory. No, for that, you'd have to turn the coin over.

The reverse of the coin, which declares 1932 to be "The End of the Depression," features an eye (Masonic, I assume) in the center of a shamrock centered over a swastika covering a Star of David—not at all symbols I ever expected to see merged into one.

Does that image get you ready to open up your wallet and start spending? Maybe that's how a member of the 1932 public was meant to react, but as for me, I'm not so moved.

How about you?

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