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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Meat Train: 1918

Meat Train: 1918

Circa 1918. "Food Administration home economics demonstration rail car, University of Illinois." National Photo Co. glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Electric Percolation

All this talk of kerosene and we miss the early electric coffee pot - I'm guessing it's a coffee pot due to the glass "percolation window" on top. I don't notice any bulbs in the other sockets, the only socket is for the pot. All this stuff must have made a horrible racket when the train was underway.


I was looking for props for one of our productions and needed an early towel dispenser ... a company from the U.S. sent me that very unit on the wall!

Perfection stove

The "cylindrical device" is the fuel tank itself. The Perfection kerosene stove was not pressurized. It used wicks that drew the kerosene from the tank.


With flour storage that high. How will an average person get some out to use?

[By turning the crank. It comes out of the sifter that's under the bin. - Dave]

Illinois Central

In 1917 my great-great grandfather, at the age of 75, walked into the path of the meat train in Pike County, Illinois. He died. Witnesses said they thought he didn't hear it.

Flour Again

At the top of the Hoosier is a flour-storage container with an oval window. This is in contrast to the lower hinged hopper in the "Restoration Hardware" kitchen of 1920 in which the kitchen potatoes and/or onions are stored in separate sacks. No one would want their flour stored so close to the floor, that would just not do, plus the window lets the cook see how much flour is there.

Oh wow

My husband and I had a stove very similar to the one in the picture. It only had three burners though and a kerosene bottle on the side.

Hoosier cabinet

I own a Hoosier like the one pictured except mine is not painted.

Kerosene Wisdom

There were fuel pumps combined with constant level valves made by Autopulse. Judging by its compact size, I think the device in the picture is a constant level valve, a part of a gravity feed system for kerosene range burners.

New Perfection Stove

"Make the Kitchen Livable"
-1915 advertisement

New Perfection Stove


That chart could use some updating. Near where the ear is marked there'd be a new cut of meat called a congress. But on a serious note, what is that cylindrical device to the right of the 4 burners? Would that be a pump or blower of some sort?

[Maybe a fuel pump for the kerosene "New Perfection" stove. - Dave]

This Little Piggy

What kitchen is complete without an American Meat Cutting Chart? On the plus side, now I know what a pig skeleton looks like!

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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