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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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Eat Red Star Yeast: 1936

Eat Red Star Yeast: 1936

April 1936. "Housing alongside Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad. Milwaukee, Wisconsin." View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the FSA.

 

Red Star still here

This shot is looking north at the current intersection of about 28th street and I-94. A similar looking tank and steam cloud still exist. My wife made me detour away from this spot when she was pregnant as the yeast smell made her nauseated.

Location

One more note--this is at 28th Street. There was a massive electric substation tower behind the photographer.

Rapid Transit Line

This is the Rapid Transit Line of The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company, the forerunner of today's Wisconsin Electric Power Co. Opened in 1930, it was a high-speed, very well engineered electric railroad that allowed for a trip from downtown to suburban Waukesha in about forty minutes.

Tragically, for several reasons (including the Depression, public sentiment, labor issues and Milwaukee socialist politics), TMER&L decided to get out of the transportation business in 1936, so this line really never had the chance to develop its full potential. Following progressive abandonment of the system beyond Waukesha and a tragically abortive effort to save the railroad, the Rapid Transit Line was abandoned on June 30, 1951.

This part of the line is now in the middle of Interstate 94, which was built on (or next to) most of the line's right of way in the 1960s.

Yeast Cakes

Brewer's yeast, a byproduct of beer brewing, is sometimes used for direct human consumption. The yeast is usually killed before being sold for this purpose. Yeast is very high is B-complex vitamins.

The Red Star brand of yeast is still commonly available, including nutritional yeast.

Whistling Yeast Chorus

Many of the B-vitamins complex tablets or capsules available today in your supermarket or pharmacy are derived from yeast -- though there are formulations which state specifically on the label that they are not yeast-based.

The clay-eaters you mention don't just think "they need the minerals." It is a physical compulsion, and known as Pica disorder. Its usually considered to be driven by a biochemical or iron deficiency. (Guess the pickles and ice cream just didn't satisfy, huh?)

Steve Miller
Someplace near the crossroads of America

Yeast Folklore

Yeast was recommended for pregnant women and people with acne in the 20s and 30s. No, I don't know why, but that's what my mother, now 88, tells me. She doesn't remember the theory, and she guess it's just folklore, kind of like those pregnant women who ate white clay because they thought they needed minerals.

Eat Yeast?

Odd way to word it--you'd think they would say "Use Red Star Yeast"--don't recommend eating it!

 
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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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