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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CARNAVAL EN LA HABANA, 1941

Monstera: 1945

Monstera: 1945

March 23, 1945. "Dover Book Shop, 2672 Broadway, New York." Audrey will be happy to ring you up. Acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

 

McCoy Pottery

Not to mention that beautiful McCoy pot the plant is in. That size and design fetches a nice price these days. Back then they were often used by florists. McCoy had its own line of florist pots, Floraline. This might be one.

Nifty (Dust) Jackets

Every time I read something about book collecting they mention that dust jackets on old books increase their value significantly. Did the Good Taste experts tell everyone back then that bought hardcovers to throw out the gaudy dust jackerts as soon as you get home? It seems so, since the majority of covers are gone today. Nice to see them here.

Hello Central

Only the telephone looks less than completely up to date. Even the cash register fits the decor.

[That's an extension phone or intercom handset. The hardware is up to date. - Dave]

Chow Mein

After browsing books, there's a chinese restaurant across the street.

"10.000 Jokes, Toasts and Stories"

Was another book once in my possession via a birthday or Christmas gift from back in those days. It gave me many hours of reading entertainment as a young man, and also much fodder for use at school!

Dover Books

What a lovely, airy shop. Does any Shorpyite know if this store was somehow related to the Dover Publishing Company? The wikipedia entry doesn't say if Dover's founders ever had a retail store. It's probably unrelated, but I'm curious.

Again, the modern shelving hardware

Like last night's college library, again I see here an adjustable-shelving product (with the slotted vertical pieces and the little "shelf clips" — whatever they're called) that I would have expected not to emerge as consumer goods for another 5-10 years. Who knew?

[Modular shelves and the atom bomb. America was on a roll! - Dave]

New York Rip Saw Massacre

Nice cut there Jake. And sand off the stamp next time.

Ka-Ching!

This view shows what I could tell from the previous post-- it's a National Cash Register, Dayton, Ohio; later NCR, and much later a division of AT&T. This one is newer than mine, and electrified.

Mine (ca. 1927) is from an auto service station, and has a lovely silk-screened "STP-- It breaks the Friction Barrier" on the back, facing the customer. It has specific keys that print a notation on the register tape for gas, oil, tires, labor, etc. Do you suppose the one for the bookshop has keys for fiction, biography, self-help, and the like?

Indirect

This was around the start of a golden era for soffit uplights. A very glamorous effect, in vogue until the mid fifties. The added expense involved would be its undoing but it was nice while it lasted. Amoebas and ovals floating luminously overhead.

High Dynamic Range

I'm very impressed by the really high dynamic range of the film. Everything in the scene is decently exposed, including the view out the windows (which would be completely blown out if the picture were taken with a digital camera today.)

The composition also really works well, the curved wall behind the curved shelf looks seamless.

Teddy Jr

What better visage to look down from the top shelf of this war-time bookstore than that of General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the onetime VP of Doubleday and D-Day Medal of Honor winner.

Thurber Carnival

I believe I have that edition of "The Thurber Carnival." It's right under "The Sun Is my Undoing" and next to "Quoth the Raven" in my library, too.

[I have the same edition of "Thurber Carnival," purchased on eBay. May fave story is "The Catbird Seat." - Dave]

PB prices

61 cents would buy you a couple paperbacks well into the 1950s. In high school my brother was a Ray Bradbury fan and I have several of the paperbacks that adorned his bookshelf c.1953-4, priced 25-35 cents.

Yankee Stranger

That book must have been a good seller, You can see a copy of it on the bottom left AND on the top right of the photo.

Bet It's a Boy

Who knew that Matt Groening got his drawing style from Betty Bacon Blunt? Also, I don't think that's Audrey; looks more like her cousin Phil.

61 Cents

Notice that the last purchase rung up on the cash register was for 61 cents! What could you buy for 61 cents in 1945?

[A paperback. - Dave]

Cool.

What an utterly stylish room.

New

I've only seen these books battered and well-loved in secondhand and antique shops. A treat to see them in mint condition here.

Modern

What strikes me on a cursory glance is the modernity of the forms and design. Bright woods/veneers, curved shelving, cove lighting (?). For some reason whenever I think of bookstores that aren't Borders or B&N I think of shabby warrens with shelves crammed to the overflowing. Or Marks & Co., 84, Charing Cross Road.

I guess it's literally Modernity. Welcome the advent of Midcentury Modern!

The Classics

Les Miserables by Hugo, The Idiot by Dostoevsky!

[I often feel that they are both at my elbow. - Dave]

Good Times, Boom Times

I wonder what was in the "Good Time Package." The books aimed at new parents hint at the just-beginning baby boom.

Prominently Displayed

Cool bookstore and it has my favorite author right over the money. "Cannery Row" was published the year this photo was shot.

I can see my house from here!

And out the window is a view of the Broadmoor Hotel, now the Broadmoor condominiums, where I used to live.

Thanks for an interesting view of the (very) old neighborhood.

 
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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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