SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Mint, Sage, Caraway and Thyme: 1942

Mint, Sage, Caraway and Thyme: 1942

July 1942. "Birmingham (near Detroit), Michigan. Herbs and kitchen utensils in a house in Birmingham." 4x5 inch Kodachrome transparency by Arthur S. Siegel, Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

These old implements

They remind me of my grandmother's 'polenta' paddle, which I still use for stirring pasta. Polenta is basically corn meal mush. The paddle is a wooden device similar to the spatula-like thing third from left, but made of wood and about 2 inches wide by 1/4 inch thick. The one I have is over 100 years old, as my grandmother got it when she was first married in 1908. I got it when I moved into my first apartment in '73.

Can't remember how many times I got my butt warmed with that paddle!

Scarborough Fare?

They must've run out of parsely and rosemary.

Wabi, sabi

Perfect examples of the Japanese qualities of wabi and sabi. The enjoyment of the slight imperfections in objects which are in everyday use, especially those which are hand-made, and of the honest wear which accumulates on such objects.


I'm pretty certain some of those utensils are probably still in use by someone. Some of my favorite kitchen gadgets are those that belonged to my mom and grandmother in the '30s and '40s. They are still in great condition, whereas a lot of what I bought when I got married in 1969 only lasted a couple of years.

Utensil Rings

The four utensils on the right had an identical threaded metal ring screwed into each handle end to allow it to hang on a hook. The ring on the end of the small skillet was too big for the hook, and it appears a bit of force was used to make it fit. This was clearly a time before stainless steel. I like the detail of the rough plaster wall - I'd love to see the rest of the kitchen. Any related images?

Metal and mint

I love photos like this, which provide a glimpse of daily life in the past. Those are great utensils! Looks like they had all ready been around for quite a while, by then, but still had lots of use left in them. I watch secondhand stores for such things, and have several I use. I'd like to know how she used that mint. I'll bet it was from her garden!

Still in use

Change the handles of some of those utensils to red and white and you can find them in my kitchen.

"Nice rack" - ?

No. Actually, no. Nobody had to say that.

Well used tools

I like the patina of age and use on the various cooking utensils. The handles tell that these have been used often to make meals for whomever they belonged to, and their family. The small pan was probably used to melt butter or lard.

Secret Ingredient

I sure hope that is gum on the shelf!!!

Nice rack

Someone had to say it.

Secret Ingredient

The wad of chewed gum on the shelf is a nice touch.

Point of order

I found myself wondering why the caption was in a different order than the bottles, but then I deduced that this was taken in Scarborough.

SHORPY OLD 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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.