Vision Over Visibility (luna_glass_wall) wrote in little_details,
Vision Over Visibility

Healthcare and Cost of Living 1929-1941 Brooklyn, NY

Searched: how much did a nurse make 1929, salary hospital nurse 1929, how much did a doctor make 1929, how much did a doctor housecall cost 1929, rent brooklyn 1929; repalced "!929" with "1920s" and "1930s". I've been searching for about four hours now

I'm writing a Captain America fic based on the MCU, and I need to suss out the Rogers family living situation

Background: It's November 1929; the stock market crashed like a week ago. 11-year-old Steve lives with his mother (Sarah) and his grandmother (Minnie) in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Originally he lived with all four grandparents and both parents, but the other three grandparents and his father have since died; his father having died the previous year of respiratory failure (because of the mustard gas exposure; I'm also thinking that he was diabetic). Since Steve is coded poor in the MCU (given his clothes as compared to Bucky's, and the look of his apartment/neighborhood), I do want to write him as such.

It's stated in CA:TFA that Sarah was a nurse in a TB ward. I've been searching for how much she would be making, and keep getting conflicting reports. On the one hand, I'm being told that between 1924-1934, hospital nurses could be making $936-$1370/yr ($78-$115/mt). On the other hand, I found an advertisement from 1937 calling for hospital nurses and promising them only $15/mo (and based on my inflation/deflation claculator, that would put Sarah at like $18/mo in 1929). Did wages decrease THAT much in just 3 years, or would she have been not making much in 1929? Does it depend on whether she's an RN or an LPN?

Similarly: I know that most doctor visits at this time were housecalls. How much would a doctor charge for these? I'm finding that they might be anywhere from $3-$8/visit, but since I have no frame of reference, I don't know how accurate that is.

And, tangentially: I have the Rogers living in a "new-law" apartment (two bedrooms; one living space that has the stove/icebox, table, sofa, and tub; and a toilet, as well as windows in every room). I figured that the family would have wanted/needed a nicer/bigger apartment when there were six working adults and one baby, but now they're struggling to hold onto it with only one working adult (Minnie having chronic pain/health issues that limits her ability to work, and Steve being 11). Since I don't really know what Sarah's salary would be like now, I'm not sure if this is accurate, especially since I'm not sure what the rent would be. The best match I'm finding for my research is $18/mo; is that about right? And I'm assuming that doesn't cover gas (I don't think they'd have electricity, but if someone wants to comment on the historicity of that, feel free).

I'm nto sure if this'll make a difference, also, but Sarah is Jewish and Minnie is Oneida; I'm mentioning this because I'm not sure if their respective religion and race would make them likely to be overcharged by the landlord or underpaid by an employer.

Short of the long is that I want to make them struggling to get by, to the point where adolescent Steve is skipping school to find work, and I want to make sure I'm doing it right. Since Steve canonically has chronic health issues, and I'm okay with giving the rest of the family similar problems, it'd be fine if Sarah were making middle-class wages and having to blow them on medical care; I just want to make sure I've got the right settings for it.
Tags: 1920-1929, 1930-1939, 1940-1949, usa: health care and hospitals, usa: new york: new york city

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.