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Small Business: 1940

Small Business: 1940

July 1940. "General store in Lincoln, Vermont." Medium-format nitrate negative by Louise Rosskam for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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This WAS "my father's Oldsmobile"

The ads for the last new touted "not like", but this was indeed like my father's Oldsmobile. He and my mother had the long-wheelbase 4-door sedan when they first married in 1951. It was quite old then, bought second-hand (or third, fourth, fifth...) All their lives they told how it was one of the best cars they ever owned, carrying them to nearly every state in the western United States and over the perilous roads high in the Rockies that predated our interstate system. One of my favorite pictures of them as young newlyweds is them sitting on that long hood of theirs in baby blue.

Puffed Wheat Sparkies - A Serial's Cereal

Later in the 1940's, Quaker rebranded and sweetened its Puffed Wheat(and also Puffed Rice) breakfast cereal products as "Sparkies" and repackaged them, from boxes into clear cellophane bags. The slogan Qauker used for them was, "The Cereal(s) Shot from Guns". Along with General Mills' Wheaties, Kellogg's Pep and Post's Toasties, they were heavily advertised on kids' afternoon radio serial programs. They were all pretty good, except for Pep, which had the taste of wet cardboard. (It offered great premiums, however...)

Small Business: 1940

Charles Arthur Donah died in 1964, at the age of 82.

Re: Moxie

Ahhh ... good old Moxie. As someone who can actually drink a Moxie and "somewhat" enjoy the flavor, I think of it like this: Bitter cola mixed with a touch of root beer, and some cherry cough syrup thrown in for good measure. The Moxie Festival (held in Lisbon Falls, Maine) just concluded back around the middle of July, and was the 30th Anniversary of the event.

Check out their website for anything and everything Moxie:

1940 Census says

He is Charles A. Donah, 58. Living with his wife, daughter, son-in-law (a gas station attendant), and granddaughter. Kind of brings things to life, eh?

Hot And Cold Moxie

Just look at that great Moxie Thermometer, on the wall, to the right of the door. It probably had more viewers than both Coca-Cola signs.


Good at any temperature, critics say it tastes like prune juice, motor oil and store brand cough syrup, others relate the taste to licking a creosote telephone pole.

The Merry Oldsmobile

The front of a 1935 Oldsmobile Series L is visible.

The "L" series was an 8 cylinder model (100 hp, 15 mpg at 50 mph, 121" wheelbase) as compared to the "F" series which had a 6 cylinder engine (90 hp, 18 mpg at 50 mph, 115" wheelbase).

The "L" series models are easily distinguished by the three sets of horizontal double bars in the grille. The "F" series used three single bars.

Note the Texaco sign reflection in the upper right front window of the store.

Wet cement

Looks like he was getting a new front walk.

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