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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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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.



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.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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