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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Barbeque Gas Beer: 1940

Barbeque Gas Beer: 1940

June 1940. Melrose, Louisiana. "A crossroads store, bar, 'juke joint' and gas station in the cotton plantation area." 35mm color transparency by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

Model Bar

I thought that this image looked familiar. Twin Whistle Sign and Kit has a model kit based on this photo.

[Wow. Amazing! - Dave]

Jax jingle

Remembered from my Mississippi childhood in the late '50s.

Oh you'll never know
What that other beer lacks,
Until you've tried
The real beer taste
The real beer taste of Jax!
Mellow Jax!

Digital Painting

Such a great image, it inspired me to do a little photoshop magic on it. Click to enlarge.

Squeak-Slam

I can still hear the squeaky hinges and the stretching of the springs that were used to close those screen doors.

Memories

Back in the 1950's my dad would take me with him into the Mississippi Delta on his Saturday laundry route. With the exception of the sign advertising whiskey, that place looks like dozens of small stores, gas stations, and/or joints we stopped at to pick up and deliver laundry. (Mississippi was dry, well at least you couldn't advertise whiskey)

The places were colorful, dirty, dusty, and their coolers were always filled with some of the most exotic soft drinks you could dream of drinking. Oh this photo brings back such fond memories.

Re: Hey, no fair

Sorry about that, "r"!

Quincy's Bar-B-Q
70 North Main Street
Milpitas, CA 95035-4323

(408) 945-7943

Under the Calaveras Blvd. R/R overpass, where you'd expect to find a seedy bus terminal. I think they may be gone, according to the most recent Yelp! entry.

Top Tobacco

Top Cigarette Tobacco is still around, and the package looks just the same.

Doesn't even look that old

I've seen gas station-restaurants still operating in rural parts of the South that don't look too different from this pic. (Granted, I've never seen a combination gas station and bar before.) And I bet the barbecue here was insanely good.

Hey, no fair.

Dave B. You cannot give out information like that regarding BBQ and not give the location. A name would be nice if it's not against the rules. That place sounds awesome.

Pop

Nehi Orange was the good stuff. Forget the Root Beer.

The Crossroads

This might be a great place to be after the sun goes down
and the "boys" pull out their guitars.

Location, location, location...

Melrose is between Alexandria and Natchitoches in central Louisiana, in case anybody was wondering.

Including the gas pump, I see between $5000-$10,000 worth of antique advertising here. Wonder where it all wound up? And "Jax-Best Beer In Town"? Not what I've heard from those who survived the experience of drinking one!

Listen to the Music

Growing up in the 50's in the south,there were still a lot of these old stores left. I guarantee the front entrance is an old screen door with a bell attached.
I can still hear the creaking of the door opening,the distinctive slam and jingle of the bell.There was always an ice cold 6 oz. Coke to be had inside to be drawn from the old chest type CocaCola cooler.

Amazing

Things have changed so much in the last 70 years.

Time slowly changes

I bet twenty years later, those men will still be there, talking about life with a "chaw" of tobacco, and a bottle of beer. I remember places like this from my childhood in rural Kentucky.

Dental Snuff

A product still readily available today, "Dental Snuff" was advertised more than a century ago as a cure for toothache, gingivitis, facial neuralgia, caries, and scurvy.

The page goes on at length to list the harmful effects with pictures). My cure is a cold beer.

Regal Beer

Absolutely wonderful picture. Regal was still active in the early 50s and was perfect with shrimp or oysters! You can feel the summer heat just oozing from this picture. Thanks. Looks like just the spot!

Re: My kind of place

Hamburger buns? There's a real, transplanted Southern BBQ joint near here (San Jose) that serves a lunchtime "rib sandwich" in what I understand to be the authentic style: A basket with a section of incredible, slow-smoked baby back ribs, and two slices of white bread in a sandwich baggie! The bread is basically your edible napkin, so's not to miss any of the sauce.

My kind of place

No flashing disco balls here. I'll bet the barbeque is top of the line and the sauce is home made. The buns would be regular hamburger buns, no fancy swirls or seeds.

Maybe there would be a red & white checked or plain white cotton tablecloth; more than likely it would be a black or red linoleum top. The napkins would be in a chromed dispenser and the salt & pepper shakers would be octagonal with chrome tops. The ashtrays might have beer company logos, if not just plain pressed glass. The floors would probably be plain wood, the finish worn off by years of traffic. Sit back, soak up the atmosphere, swat a few flies and have a good meal.

Whoa.

I build dioramas of soulful, seedy and well-worn buildings, and have a good-sized collection of photos I use for reference and inspiration. A little ink-jet print of this one's been on my studio wall for years. When I opened up Shorpy today for my daily perusal, I couldn't figure out where I was for a second. Why is this familiar? What day is this? Finally came to me. It's nice to see this beautiful photo get the Shorpy treatment. I see details and texture I never discovered in my reference print. Now I think I'll relax with a cold Nehi and a pinch of Dental Snuff.

Well I never.

"Dental Snuff"??

 
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