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Pittsburgh Hill District diner

Pittsburgh Hill District diner

I found this photo at an estate sale. The family was Greek and Greeks often ran diners. My guess is that this family owned a diner in Pittsburgh's historic Hill District (featured in August Wilson's plays). Note how the counter divides the white owners from the black customers. I don't know who took the photo or the date. I'm guessing it was taken sometime in the 30s. Any guesses or info would be great! View full size.

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Timeframe

What a great photo to find at a sale. I am virtually certain this picture is older. I would place it 1925 or so with the clothes, hairstyles and the "Jersey Corn Flake" boxes. See that big line of boxes on the top shelf above the Greek guys in the left half of the photo? They are easily identified as Jersey Corn Flake. This cereal was put on the market in 1921 and this was the first box they used. By the late 1920's Jersey Cereals (from Cereal, Pennsylvania) changed the design of the box and started using the plural Corn Flakes instead of the singular. They must have sold a lot of cereal, there a quite a few boxes up there. Pretty amazing that people would actually go out to a Diner and eat cereal! Shows how much our diets have changed! lol Thanks for the great photo!

The racial divide

I was merely pointing out a visual fact of the image. And the racial divide (and social injustice) in our country has frequently made use of utilitarian objects such as water fountains and lunch counters (e.g. the Civil-rights era lunch-counter sit ins)!

Owners versus patrons

I would think that the owners would have posed behind the counter, and the patrons would have been on the other side of it, regardless.

The Money's Still Green - Regardless of Skin Color

The submitter states, "Note how the counter divides the white owners from the black customers." It would seem the counter is utilitarian, rather than an instrument of social injustice. Regardless of the color of patrons, most diners have a counter, thereby supplying a place from which to eat, but this is absolutely the first time I have seen race presumed as the purpose of their being.

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