The Bureau of the Census is requesting public input through 15 November 2022 about the forthcoming 2030 census. Topics in which the the Bureau is specifically interested, how to provide your comments, and general information on the census planning process can be found here: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/decade/2030/2030-census-main.html.
The “countdown clock” to the right shows you how many days remain until the digital opening of the 1950 census on 1 April 2022. It will be here faster than you think! Time to get ready!
Therefore, I’ve started writing about the 1950 census on the History Hub website with the first installment today: “1950 Census: How the Census Forms and Procedures Were Developed.”
The National Archives recently digitized the Card File of Population Data Relating to the 17th Census, 1950 (National Archives Identifier 2990400). While this card set is mundane and may not be extraordinarily useful, it serves as a good reminder that BCE – “before the computer era” – people, businesses, and government alike used “card files” as a data management tools for quick storage and retrieval of important, useful, or frequently accessed information as discussed in my recent blog post, Census Fun Fact #5 – The Geography Division’s Quick Reference Card File of 1950 Census Population Data. Check it out.
P.S.: The 1950 population census will become available to researchers on April 1, 2022.
The Great Depression began with the stock market crash of 29 October 1929.
The 1929 Census of Manufacturers may help local historians learn about economic activity in the community at the cusp of the Great Depression. Genealogists may learn about a business owned by an ancestor. Alternatively, if an ancestor was known to have been a wage earner employed by a specific firm, the census schedules may provide insight into hours worked and wages earned.
The purpose of the census was to obtain useful statistical information about industry size, production, employment, power equipment, and fuel consumption. The data was collected partly by mail and partly by paid canvassers. Preliminary results of the data were published in press releases, and subsequently with more substantive analysis and detail in nearly three hundred reports issued in 1930 and 1931. The census included only manufacturing establishments that made products worth five thousand dollars or more.
The U.S. National Archives has placed some of these records online as “Schedules of the Census of Manufacturers, 1929-1929.” As of December 2017, images of schedules for Industries 101 (Beverages) through 518 (Printing and Publishing) are available. Separate digital files have been uploaded for each industry code by state. Within each state, the schedules are arranged in alphabetical order by county. Additional schedules will be placed online in the future.
Read “Butter Makers and More: Revelations of the 1929 Census of Manufacturers” to see and read examples of information recorded about two facilities in Ashtabula County, Ohio, and Bourbon County, Kansas, that made milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream.
More information on the 1929 manufacturing census is available on the Census Bureau website. “General Explanations” provides good background information. Detailed reports and results are at “Census of Population and Housing.” On that page, click on “Special Collections and Reports” (near the bottom of the page), then click on “Manufacturers,” and then choose the report of interest.
The photo of the butter vendor, ca. 1917, is from United States Department of Agriculture Bulletin No. 456, February 5, 1917, p. 8.
The National Archives Catalog was updated over the Labor Day weekend for the first time since April. Updates had been suspended due to technical difficulties, but hopefully the Catalog will again be updated on a regular basis henceforth.
I am not conversant with the full extent of the update, but it’s certain that there are many additional series descriptions, file description, item descriptions, and digital images. Here are some examples.
Digital image updates include Maps and Correspondence Relating to Minor Civil Divisions, 1940-1950 from the Bureau of the Census.
Numerous series descriptions for records in Record Group 28, Records of the Post Office Department, have also been added. These are records that the National Archives received after the publication of Arthur E. Hecht, et al., Preliminary Inventory 168, Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Post Office Department, published in 1967. Watch for additional series and file descriptions to be added over the coming months.
File descriptions provide information about contents of specific files. For some examples, here’s a link to files described in the Records of the Post Office Department.