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Le Jeune: 1938

Le Jeune: 1938

November 1938. Mix, Louisiana. "Negro children coming out of store on their way to school. Note lunches which they are carrying." 35mm nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Re: Leaded Gas

Before you had the choice of leaded or unleaded where I live, we had to go to the American Truck Stop (Amoco) to get white gas. Coleman Fuel was cheap then and we used that in our stoves and lanterns, but we used Amoco white gas in our 2 stroke motorcycles (they needed gasoline which Coleman Fuel ain't). When other oil companies offered unleaded we could get our white gas about anywhere though I don't think any of them were as good as Amoco.

leaded gas

When I was growing up we used to get unleaded or white gas for our Coleman lanterns when we went camping at the Amoco station. Leaded gas also had a pink dye added to it so you knew it had lead in it.


With regard to an earlier comment: You could put unleaded "white gas" into your car as a fuel but then you'd have to break out your small can of lead additive to put in with it or your car would be jumping like a washer spinning with a lop-sided load of clothes in it. The sign on the pump let you know you were getting true motor fuel.

What You Could Have Bought For A Nickel

Pepsi and Old North State Tobacco.


A Nehi sign ( grape anyone? ) and the obligatory Cocoa-Cola sign as well.

Also signs for "Old Gold, Camel, and Luckies Cigarettes" and for the roll your own crowd "ripple" and "Star tobacco as well. I think "Sensation" was a cigarette brand as well...


It looks like they've split a poboy.

Lucky kids

At least they have shoes to wear to school. My dad was about the same age in rural Louisiana at the time and wasn't quite so fortunate. Shoes were a "sometime" thing for kids in the country.


The photos is great for its detail of a general store, but I don't get the point about the Negro children's lunches. What am I missing?

Lunches were duly noted

and I didn't see anything remarkable other than the girl got the better end of the deal food-wise. Could it be that African-American kids in rural 1938 Louisiana didn't often have lunches to carry?


Didn't know in those early days gas pumps carried the sign "contains lead." Did unleaded gas exist then?

[It's all unleaded until the lead gets added at the refinery. The warning "for use as a motor fuel only" means don't use it in a stove or heater, since lead is poisonous. Gasoline for cooking and heating, without additives, was called "white gas." - Dave]

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