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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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Oke Doke: 1939

Oke Doke: 1939

January 1939. "Nightclub along highway. Williamson County, Illinois." Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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Is there a graphics designer among us who can identify the "Oke Doke" typeface? It was a standard for this era, especially on Coke signs.

Cook's Beer sign

Looks like someone has been using the back of the sign for BB gun target practice. Not that I would know that from personal experience or anything.

"Night Club..."

Seems a little grand: try "road house."

In the Real World

That would be a "Juke Joint" or a "Honky Tonk". A rose by any other name.

Re: Workin' things out

I spent a fair amount of my youth in some of those taverns in Southern Illinois. I can almost guarantee just as many disagreements were settled inside the establishment as in the parking lot, with more than a little bloodshed. For some background on what this area was just a few years before this picture was taken read the book "Bloody Williamson" and search for the Shelton and Birger gangs.

Workin' things out

I imagine more than a few disagreements have been "settled" in that dirt lot.

Talkin' trash

I'm always surprised by how much garbage is visible in photos from the olden days.

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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