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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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Happy Motoring: 1942

Happy Motoring: 1942

1942. "Cemetery at edge of Romney, West Virginia." View full size. 35mm Kodachrome transparency by John Vachon for the Office of War Information.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The Gaunt Brooding State

In the book "John Vachon's America" (University of California Press), there are numerous letters written by him to his wife while he was on the road for the Farm Security Administration. In an entry dated January 24, 1942, he writes:

Romney, West Va. First day out. Night now, and many Saturday night people on the main street of this little town of dark West Virginia. The gaunt brooding state of the U.S. The West Virginia people have lean angular faces with dark seamed wrinkles. The bony women have thin breasts and strange sweet straight lips. Black Sunday suits on the men with combed hair, and shapeless color printed dresses on the women.

Local breweries

Like Fort Pitt, there were a lot of breweries in the area of Allegheny County. Most of the buildings are still standing. Some still have that ascetic appeal of the early architecture of years ago.

Fort Pitt Ale

"A toast to the holidays" Fort Pitt Ale. Fort Pitt Brewing Company, Sharpsburg and Pittsburgh, PA(1906 - 1957). Perhaps the best selling beer in the Pittsburgh area at one time and Romney was certainly within the marketing area of the brewery. It vaguely looks like the woman on the billboard is wearing a ski outfit, but at that time skiing was far from the popular sport it is today. Curiously, this sign may have explained the origin of a colloquialism known to many from Pennsylvania, "That's it, Fort Pitt" or the reverse, "Fort Pitt, That's It" was an advertising slogan for Fort Pitt Brewery. See:
Also, I would note that there is no Interstate 50, but certainly a US 50.

Indian Mound

That'd be US 50, not Interstate 50.

Could have been yesterday.

Aside from the car and the billboard, it almost seems as if this photo could have been taken yesterday. There are many areas which still look exactly like this.

Country Roads

West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country roads.

At first glance, I thought this was another of tterrace's slides. Surprise, it's by John Vachon. For photo historians, it must be nice to have the year prominently displayed on a billboard!

Dead Man's Curve

The road is Interstate 50, and the cemetery is Indian Mound.

Fort Pitt Ale

Gorgeous! What a lovely photo. Can anyone read the brand of ale in the billboard on the right? "Fort Pitt?"

["A toast to the holidays. Fort Pitt Ale." - Dave]

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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