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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • PAN AMERICAN TO GUATEMALA, 1938

At the Store: 1973

At the Store: 1973

This picture is of my dad, Bernard "Bernie" Falk, taken at the candy counter of the luncheonette he and my Mom owned in 1973. Thel-Bern Sweet Shoppe, Main Ave., Passaic NJ. Dad would sell the store in 1977 and move onto to the glamorous world of 'The Coin Business.' I think my brother took this photo with a Polaroid Swinger like the one in the box in the display case top left. View full size.

Silvercup

The loaf of bread on the counter has a logo on the wrapper that's recognizable today as a prominent film studio in New York - Silvercup. I didn't know its history as a bakery: http://www.silvercupstudios.com/about.htm.

Rolaids, bread

cigars, Luckies, tic-tacs,nail clippers, film, lottery tickets, you name it, we got it.

Something of a hobby shop too

Dad was an avid home movie and photography fan. Although it was common at that time stores like his to have film along with aspirin and other sundries (similar to a bodega today) I think he mostly kept the film on hand for his own needs.

Hmm

Wonder what the cardboard stand with "Dirty Classic" written on it was all about? I spy with my little eye the Kodachrome II box up there. Ah yes, this was all well before digital anything. After fiddling for what seemed an eternity with exposure settings and the like, if my sister and I didn't smile enough or moved our dad would complain that we were "wasting film."

[It says "Dirty glasses." - tterrace]

Swinger Jingle

Thanks for the Youtube of the old Polaroid Swinger commercial. You're exactly right--the jingle still sticks in my head. I'm about the same age as you, apparently, but if anyone would ask me how much the Swinger cost, I could instantly tell them "Nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents" (even before watching the Youtube video).

Another dumb-but-effective jingle from that era was for Sheraton Hotels. Who could forget their toll-free reservations number? Sing it with me: "800-325-3535." Wonder if that number still works?

Now why can't I remember my bank account number, passwords, friends' phone numbers, etc.? Maybe I should write some jingles for them.

Meet The Swinger!

The Polaroid Swinger...

Funny how jingles stick in your head for 40 years or more, I can clearly remember this one even though I would have been less than ten years old when it came out.

The Singer is Barry Manilow, the Actress Ali McGraw.

Neat as a pin counter

Looking at the packaging from 39 years ago, it's interesting how the bread, candies, mints and other items in and around the counter have changed so little.

Swingers Rocked!

I remember buying my Swinger camera in Miami as a kid; I had to go to several stores before I found one in stock. They were wonderful fun; you could put a piece of masking tape over half the lens, take a photo, move the tape to the other half of the lens, snap the shutter again and have a snazzy double exposure. I burned up a lot of film doing that!!!

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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