"Detail of Bracket Lamp"
By H.L. Smith for the Resettlement Administration's Reedsville Experimental
Village, Reedsville, West Virginia, June 10, 1935
Pencil on tracing paper
14 3/4" x 25 1/4" National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Farmers
New Deal Planned Communities: Arthurdale,
Reedsville, West Virginia As part of the effort to assist some of those
unemployed by the Great Depression, several federal agencies under President
Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal built experimental, planned communities,
known as "new towns." This lamp was designed for homes in Arthurdale,
a New Deal "subsistence homestead" near Reedsville, West Virginia. Arthurdale
was one of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's favorite projects. She not only
encouraged the town's economic development and lobbied the Government
to provide schools, electricity, and indoor plumbing, but used her own
money to hire a teacher and pay for a health clinic, doctor, and nurse.
Planned primarily as an agricultural community, the town also had a small
factory that forged many of the town's lighting fixtures and hardware,
including, in all probability, the "bracket lamp."