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Cellar Dweller: 1940

Cellar Dweller: 1940

November 1940. "Mr. George Howe lives in the cellar of what was formerly his house. The top part was completely destroyed in the hurricane. He runs a small farm near Canterbury, Connecticut." Photo by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Nice touches!

I love that fly-strip wrapped around the wire for the bare bulb light.

After the destruction of the house, how did they get all the bulky furniture, AND THE PIANO down in the basement? Must have been a tough job, although Mr. Howe doesn't look like he needed a lot of help!

A few weeks ago I picked up a barrister's bookcase like his ... always wanted one.

Quality of life

That Mr. Howe is still living in his basement, some 2 years after the hurricane or '38 surrounded by quite an interesting, if incongruous, collection of things - law books, musical instruments (no doubt important and meaningful to him and his), attests to his Yankee resilience. (My grandfather lost 2 tobacco sheds in that storm. It was pretty fierce, even north of Hartford.) Is that a cornet I spy on the dresser against the wall? And a violin case on the table next to the piano? I can only wonder what he's using for ink in that dip pen he's holding. Perhaps a bit of sludge at the bottom of the coffee cup left from breakfast?

Just another reason

... we hate hurricanes in Florida. No cellars or basements for backup.

Law Man? Piano Man? Farmer?

Nice collection of law books on the shelf. The upright grand doesn't seem to have been harmed in the move to the cellar. It just needs a little dusting. And he runs a farm. What a guy!


Mr. Howe - pioneer of the the "man cave".

Societal dropout.

Literally. The obvious thought is what hurricane ?? (They're hardly a specialty in the Nutmeg State) And the equally obvious answer would be the one in 1938. Which would make his hibernation well into the third year: are you ever coming up and rebuild, George ??

The Great Hurricane of 1938

Canterbury is about a 40-minute drive from I live. Mr. Howe has likely been living in his cellar/basement for a little over two years as the 1938 hurricane made landfall at 4 pm on September 21, 1938, between Bridgeport and New Haven. Eastern Connecticut (where Canterbury is) and Rhode Island got absolutely hammered. People still talk about that hurricane here like they do the Blizzard of 1978.

That would be the Hurricane of 1938

... which kiilled approximately 700 people in New York and New England.


Amazing that it hasn't changed in 80 years. Still works!

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