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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Happy Campers: 1914

Happy Campers: 1914

Circa 1914. "U.S. Army or National Guard." Among the comestibles behind the cash register: Fig Newtons, Social Tea Biscuits and Marshmallow Dainties. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

I think I recognize that stuff

I wouldn't be all that surprised if some of those items are still on the shelves at a PX somewhere.

Bull Durham

Bull Durham fine smoking tobacco & paper on the next shelf under the Prince Albert.

Dainties

Somehow I just do not see any of these guys consuming "Marshmallow Dainties"!

What about the libation?

From the goofy expressions and crooked hats I'm wondering what they're drinking. Whatever it is I want some.

Pogey bait

Also graham crackers and Colgate tooth powder. This establishment is properly called a PX (Post Exchange) tent, but we (in the 1990s) called it the "pogey bait" tent. Which is what these guys probably called it; that term for munchies and other assorted goodies is older than dirt. Locating the pogey bait tent is usually the first objective after you've set up your bivouac area. You know, you could take these guys to a modern Guard summer camp and they'd feel right at home. Or vice versa. The Army never changes.

Tilt

Was the photographer tipsy, or the sutler? That tent is much more than half a bubble off plumb.

Bottoms Up

I'm trying to figure out what the guys are drinking. Would it have beer or some kind of soft drink? Since the bottle is clear, and not green or brown, I thought it might be soda since there's a head on it. Anybody?

Yum

And Colgate Dental Powder to take care of the cavities.
We know what they are smoking, but what are they drinking? Root Beer?

And of course ...

they're all drinking Moxie! How can we tell? Because most of it is still in the bottles - and, very probably, stayed there.

My New Word For Today!

COMESTIBLES

Sort of like Evian

Sort of like Evian water--naive spelled backward.

What's Missing Here

Wow! The pre-WWI Army PX offered tobacco to smoke or chew, soda pop, sugary snack foods of all description (no high-fructose corn syrup), and what looks like a brew keg with a tap back there in the tent. Where do I sign up? Wait a minute ... where's the female companionship? Don't ask, don't tell.

Chopper

Tobacco plug cutter between the corporal's hat and Prince Albert in a can!

Have you got?

Prince Albert in a can. Just under the Marshmallow Dainties.

Nabisco Products

I spy Uneeda Biscuits as well. I always thought that was such a clever name -- "Uneeda Biscuit."

 
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