Blaine’s answer to the Great Depression was to make and distribute our country’s First Wooden Nickel as an answer to a bank that ran out of money. Blaine’s effort to take action to keep the local economy and local people working is to be commended and even celebrated.
The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasting from 1929 to 1939. It began after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and employment as failing companies laid-off workers. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its lowest point, some 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half the country’s banks had failed.
You can visit the building of the bank that ran out of money and failed in Blaine. It is the Living Pantry located on the corner of H Street and Peace Portal Drive. The money vault is still there. It is now used for storing other things.
The common expression “Don’t take any wooden nickels” did not come from Blaine’s wooden nickel. You can read more about it here.