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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Drugstore Farmboy: 1939

Drugstore Farmboy: 1939

August 1939. "Medford, Oregon. Half-grown farm boy on main drugstore corner in town." Not quite Lana Turner at Schwab's, even if the photographer is Dorothea Lange. Hey kid, your 15 minutes starts right ... now. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Young's Drugs

Young's was one of a succession of drug stores in Medford's Palmer-Medynski Building, which was built by neither Palmer nor Medynski, but by Byers & Jacobs in 1884. It's among Medford's three oldest buildings--one of three known 1884 buildings to survive.

Dorothea Lange took several pictures in Jackson County, Oregon in August 1939, including two of this young man. Should you want to go to the files of the Library of Congress to find out more about them, don't bother--they have the prints, but no notes. The Farm Services Agency only retained notes and other supporting documentation when their photographers were on assignment, and Lange apparently took her Medford and other Jackson County photos "for fun," on her route in 1939 between the hop fields of Josephine County and the potato fields of Klamath County.

It's possible notes or memoirs about her Jackson County sojourn survive in her personal papers, at the Oakland Museum of California.

Photoplay, September 1939

With Shirley Temple on the cover.

Crying out for colorization.

Here's another picture crying out for colorization. Hope to see it happen.

Popular Mechanics

Strange as It Seems

A syndicated cartoon strip from 1928 to 1970, at its peak in 1,300 newspapers. Other incarnations included books, radio shows and film shorts. Created by John Hix (1907-1944) who considered Strange as It Seems to be a library of “the curious, in nature and humankind, set adrift on the vast sea of public opinion with the hope that it will fulfill its mission to entertain and acquaint its viewers with some of the marvels of the world in which we live.”

Give me Velvet

1939 advert

Like the Old Folks Used to Say ...

His socks ought to throw party and invite his pants down

.89 cents for a thermos.

Where did we go wrong?

[89 cents, not .89 cents, which would be less than a penny. - Dave]

Corner of Main & Central

Young's Cut Rate Drugs, building is still there but redone.

Glow in the Dark

The alarm clocks with the black outer rim and white numbers are probably glow in the dark radium-painted numbers.

Use them to test your geiger counter.

Screen Guide

With Joan Bennett on the cover, 29 years old at the time. Her big role that year was in The Man in the Iron Mask as Princess Maria Theresa. Her two great roles were yet to come, in Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window (1944) and Scarlet Street (1945), starring in both with Edward G. Robinson.

She was a "Bad Woman"

Because the radio announcer was "That Way."

Oregon Version

Of the Texas drugstore cowboy.

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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