Children are the true connoisseurs.
What's precious to them has no price-only value.
Bel Kaufman

Children at Play


The father works swing shifts at the mill. The mother cooks, cleans, launders, irons, shops, and generally keeps the house in this pre-fast food, pre-appliance society. They are busy and the kids do much as they please when they are not in school.

Searching the dump is a thing to do.

Unfortunately, not all children in Ambridge lived near a dump and so missed the great pleasures one afforded.

The picture is of the 1st Street dump, if I'm not mistaken. Ours was at 19th and Duss next to the house. It was upstream from the Dead-End-Pool in the following photo.

Our dump was exceptional since it contained a creek. We rummaged through discarded treasures, collected scrap for the war effort, built dams,  poured water in rat holes, and soaked shoes and pant legs. It was a dark day when they filled the hole and replaced it with a gas station.

Dead End Pool

Dead-End-Pool was not a popular recreation area, except for the kids who lived around old Economy.

The Borough would soon build a proper swimming  tank in the hills on the site of the main city dump.  The refuse heap would be covered with landfill and athletic fields added.

These projects were part of an extensive public works effort in the late 1930's. The high school would be enlarged, a football stadium erected, trolley tracks removed, and alleys paved. The town was prospering.

Photo Credits: Arthur Rothstein, June 1938
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