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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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Essolene: 1939

Essolene: 1939

January 1939. "Hammond Ranch general store. Chicot, Arkansas. Leased by the Farm Security Administration and subleased to its client." With your choice of traditional or newfangled gas pump. Photo by Russell Lee. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Colorized Version

Photojacker, that is a heck of a job. Yes, the Coca-Cola signs are perfect. One of them being in shadow made that a challenge, I suppose, but you nailed them.

What I'm most impressed with, though, are the lower portions of the gas pumps. Those are totally convincing.

I have to wonder why snuff was so popular back in those days. In college, I surrendered and gave it a try. It certainly wasn't something I enjoyed and I decided that it wasn't for me!!!


Love those signs

My attempt at colorizing the image. Thanks to all the commenters who put up good colour references, I managed to source the rest myself and was particularly pleased with the Coca Cola signs.

For the roof, I didn't want to go overboard with the rust. Enjoy.

Railroad Tracks

Not much left to Chicot, Arkansas these days in terms of even a single filling station or store, and the railroad tracks are long gone, however when I traced where the railroad would have been from a satellite view, it did appear from the fuzzy image and shadow, that an iron railroad bridge still crosses the river near there.


I wonder if any kids ever played around that air compressor and got their fingers or arms in the belt when it kicked on.

Ramon's Pink Pills

Good for just about anything that ailed ya!

Visible Gas Pumps

These held on long after they were technologically superannuated because folks in rural areas didn't trust either the quantity or the quality of fuel they couldn't see before it entered their car's tank. I recall my grand-uncle, the proprietor and pump jockey at a general store in rural Ohio, complaining that the store's gasoline distributor was trying to foist one of those new-fangled "invisible" pumps on the store. Being about three years old at the time, I marvelled at the idea of a machine that no one could see, and still recall my mental image of farmers blundering around in front of the general store, arms outstretched like Karloff in "Frankenstein," hoping to bump into the invisible pump so they could fill up.

Observation on another topic: you know that snuff dipping is firmly entrenched in a community when there are three brands advertised on the outside of the general store!

Dental Snuff

Invented by a Dentist to sweeten the chewer's breath. Available in regular or Scotch.

Mansfield Tires

I see the partially obscured sign for Mansfield Tires, made for many years in my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio. My great aunt and her brother my great uncle both worked there.

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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