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08-10-2012, 02:54 AM
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Depression Era

Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I'm trying to learn and presenting my tentative theories about pre-WW2 hockey. I wasn't referring to the 50s, which aren't exactly comparable to the pre-WW2 era which included a worldwide depression for over a decade. I may be wrong in some cases and will admit when I am. I'm surprised a small village had an outdoor rink with lights, and would be more surprised if that was common in the 30s or earlier. I do understand that Canadians are passionate for the game, but perhaps not enough. You would have played for nothing... but could people during the Great Depression afford to play for nothing or peanuts? Maybe in some cases they could, but I would guess not as frequently as in the 50s, when there was more economic activity and jobs were more plentiful in general (so one could find suitable work whenever their hockey career was over).
Reading about Conn Smythe and how Maple Leaf Gardens was built during the depression would certainly change your theories. Adaptations of this approach became commonplace across Canada to build community and recreational facilities sponsored by the various municipalities or service clubs or foundations or a blend of such organizations.

Pro sports in NA during the depression generated salaries not only for the players but for support staff and all the way down the chain to the amateur, municipal level.

The function of schools from the 1890's onwards was to advance education and act as community centers or parks. During the school year youngsters were taught from roughly 8AM to 4PM then after supper in the pre TV era, older people would use the facilities for various social and educational activities. Likewise the schoolyard had athletic facilities - makeshift markings for various sports.

Parks and other municipal facilities had outdoor lights for rinks. The rink(s) was situated between the street and the park's public facility. Rather easy to connect the wiring from street lights to the public facilities in the park to light the rink. Also the benefits of using a public space like a park longer justified creating one in the first place.

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