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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Free Parking: 1940

Free Parking: 1940

November 1940. "Lunchroom. Aberdeen, South Dakota." 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Who's Peterson

And why do they want me to eat his lunch?

Posh Nosh

A twenty-five cent meal in 1940 would be $3.84 today (courtesy of 'the inflation calculator'). Not really all that inexpensive.

The obvious

What if Peterson objects?

NOT abandoned baby

I agree with Dave. There is probably no baby in the carriage. I imagine the mother took the child inside the diner with her.

Park it

Just leave the kid in the perambulator and catch a quick bite.

Abandoned baby

Its amazing how often we see things in Shorpy photos that would be considered irrational and even illegal today. I can't imagine why a mother would even think of leaving her baby unattended outside a store.

[What makes you think there's a baby in there? - Dave]

Would the mother carry the baby in her arms while shopping?

[In case it's not ultra-obvious: This is a restaurant. - Dave]

Oops, so it is. I better get my glasses fixed. :-/

The Case of the Missing Infant

One has to wonder if Martin Kane, private eye, is inside pitching the merits of Model pipe tobacco under the pretense of investigating the missing infant. Hap was left to fend for himself a thousand miles straight east, surrounded in his shop by his first love: endless supplies of Dill's Best, Old Briar, Model and Tweed pipe tobacco.

Bread and Water

One has to wonder how anyone could serve a dinner for 25 cents, even in 1940, so we can only imagine what incredible gastronomic delights might have been on their dollar menu. I'm having trouble just trying to think of something edible that one can buy today for 2 bits and I keep coming up empty.


To the point, nothing else, just EAT !
And for you Chesterfield fans "Made for smokers like yourself."

Watch your kids!

Similar to this scene, and about the same time - my mother left my elder sister in the baby carriage while she went into the store (apparently a common thing back then). When she came out, the baby was gone. She screamed and shoppers came a-runnin'. They fanned out and caught a woman with my sister a block away. Her own baby had died and she needed a replacement I guess.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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