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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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Bus Stop: 1943

Bus Stop: 1943

September 1943. "A Greyhound bus trip from Louisville, Kentucky, to Memphis, Tennessee. Idlers in front of the bus stop between Memphis and Chattanooga." Photo by Esther Bubley for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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Of only 12,000 models of this 1942 Plymouth provided it's a DeLuxe 4-door sedan, nearly 69,000 if it's the slightly higher priced Special DeLuxe in that war-shortened year. Of course it's impossible to tell which body style it is from this shot, but all other types were made in far fewer quantities than the sedans. Plymouths, along with Fords and Chevrolets, would have continued to be made in very limited and special-order capacities for government use.

1946 Ford

Putting a 1946 Ford into a photo taken in 1943 is a pretty neat trick

[It's a 1942 Plymouth. -tterrace]

The stories

The stories in the photograph are many.

Little Johnny, the child on the far left almost out of the picture, is the abandoned sibling of a long-haul one-eyed trucker. Johnny is cupping a cigarette as he drags on it. He's trying to quit, but it's hard.

Sally, the thick-ankled beauty from Seneca Gardens, Kentucky, is on her way to Paris to study macrame, an inspiration she gained while watching "The Petrified Forest" at a Bette Davis film festival last year in Louisville. Unfortunately, she bought a ticket for Paris, Kentucky since it's all she could afford.

Bobby likes to stand under the lamp and play with strings. He wants to sing the blues in Memphis, and he's trying to pal up with Joe and Chuck, who seem like nice fellows from Stinking Creek, Tennessee, who might loan him bus fare to Memphis.

Joe and Chuck are on the run from bad marriages to each other's sisters in Aurora, Indiana. They have little money and are hoping to get Bobby's mother to make them sandwiches before their bus arrives. It's a pathetic con, their implied promise of a loan for bus fare to Bobby for some sandwiches, but it's all they've got.

The last three gents are keeping an eye on Bobby as a favor to his beautiful sister Veronica, who is in Lexington trying to beat a horse-racing larceny rap. She promised them someday to return to the bus station.

The car is the only innocent thing in the picture, but it's begun to be a little unreliable.

1943 was a tough year.

Poor ankles

I must say I feel so sorry for the woman. I wonder what's wrong with her ankles? She seems an otherwise tiny person with very delicate bone structure but her ankles are hugely swollen.

Where The Boys Are

These song lyrics will basically sum up this attractive, apparently single woman's wartime problem.

They're either too young, or too old
They're either too gray or too grassy green
The pickings are poor and the crop is lean
What's good is in the army
What's left will never harm me

White cotton stockings

Their wearer doesn't seem to be very happy at this particular rest stop.

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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