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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 • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

Super Suds: 1942

Super Suds: 1942

May 1942. "Greenbelt, Maryland. Father and son shopping in the cooperative store." Next, kid, I'll teach ya to shop for tobacco products. Photo by Marjory Collins for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Say goodnight Gracie

Swan Soap was the sponsor for the "Burns and Allen" radio show, 1941-45.

wabash51, my grandfather, who was a farmer, always kept a bar of Lava on the stone utility tub on the back porch. He didn't just wash his hands with it, though. He swore that occasionally brushing his teeth with it was what kept them in good shape and got the cigarette stains off of them!

What?

That child is a girl. She has a puffy sleeved dress on.

That's OK Daddy-

I'm getting plenty of satisfaction myself from YOUR Lucky Strikes!

Co-op Brand

In the 1960s, my family shopped at the Co-op in Berkeley, California. The house brand labels still looked exactly like that, except sometimes they included the "twin pines" logo as well.

smoky memories

I couldn't imagine smoking a cigarette a few inches from my toddler's face these days. But growing up in that era, dodging lit coals was part of the deal. Getting tagged once was enough for me to mind those things.

LAVA

I remember Lava soap (is it still around?). Took the top layer of skin off when used!!

Curly top

Nice curls on that baby.

Choices even back then

It's interesting to see the Ivory soap, but then to the left is the generic "White Floating Soap." Hopefully it was cheaper.

Essential design

Funny that pretty much all the package designs really don't come off as retro-kitsch, but are truly appealing in their simplicity. A lesson for today's designers.

LAVA soap

is still the best soap in the world.

Still a bargain

The Greenbelt Co-op is still operating. So is the swimming pool pictured yesterday.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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