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My-T-Fine: 1941

My-T-Fine: 1941

October 1941. "Grocer's doorway in Vernon, New York." Special appearance by John Collier. Medium-format nitrate negative. View full size.


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Thanks for the guess

Brent, thank you, that makes a lot of sense. In looking for this specific poster I did come across several overt recruiting posters from early 1941 and before, and also a good number whose purpose wasn't clear to me, but it didn't seem to be recruitment into the armed services. Your information about the pre-war buildup helps make more sense of them - encouraging people to buy bonds/stamps, general pro-defense propaganda, etc.

A Guess About The Poster

This is just a guess but while the United States was technically at peace at this point they were gearing up for war under the guise of national defense. The United States had instituted a peacetime draft in September 1940. In May 1941 the government had begun selling Defense Bonds and Stamps (the buyer could buy stamps for 10 cents each and when they had enough stamps could redeem their book of stamps for a bond). A German U-Boat attacked the USS Kearney On October 17, 1941 and another U-Boat sank the USS Reuben James on October 31, 1941. Defense industries, many of them manufacturing equipment for the British and Russians under Lend-Lease were booming by this time.

So my guess about the poster is that it was aimed at promoting the sale of Defense Bonds or (maybe more likely) Stamps to customers at the store. Maybe they can't buy the bonds or stamps there - I think at this point they were mainly sold at post offices - although it could have been a general promotion of the government's national defense program which was a very divisive thing right up to December 7 1941.

Re: Propaganda Poster

I wondered about that poster, too, mountainrev. In fact, I spent an inordinate amount of time searching the web for another example of it and couldn't find one.

There's a similarly themed one (Uncle Sam rolling up his sleeves) that's fairly common, but it's an overt recruiting poster with a much different picture and says "Defend Your Country". It's also unclear that it's pre-WWII since one place said 1940 and another 1943. Just another Shorpy mystery, I guess, to be filed next to the "Edwards boy" one.

Something Special

Roll film obviously was something special for a store to carry back then - much as it would be today.

[There was nothing special about roll film in 1941; virtually all family-type snapshot cameras used it. It might not be expected that a grocery would carry film or offer developing service, though, hence the sign. - tterrace]

Propaganda Poster

Interesting to see the Uncle Sam propaganda poster on the door, considering Pearl Harbor was still a couple of months away.


My mother used My-T-Fine lemon pie filling. It had a little hard ball of flavoring, which dissolved as you were bring the mix to a boil.
The pies were my favorite.

I Give Up

Who is John Collier and where and why is he in this doorway?

[He's reflected in the glass taking this photograph, one of many seen here on Shorpy. - tterrace]

It's What's for Lunch

I'll have a half pound of Ritz crackers,a pound of bologna,
and an ice cold Nehi. Lastly I'll need that big 'ol shade tree in back to eat it all under. Thank you very much.

Not quite 25 lbs.

I'm curious if anyone knows why the sign on the left is advertising (I'm assuming flour) at 24 1/2 pounds for $1.09, instead of 25 pounds? Was there a specific reason for not making the weight even?

[Under many jurisdictions, the statutory measurement for flour is the barrel of 196 pounds; 1/8 of 196 = 24.5 pounds. - tterrace]

Thank you, sir. I knew there had to be a logical reason. I'll save my question of why barrels weren't 200 pounds instead of 196, for a later time. :-)

[Traditionally, a peck of flour weighed 14 pounds, and a barrel 14 pecks, or 196 pounds. Possibly dates back to the old British weight unit of the stone; 1 stone = 14 pounds. - tterrace]

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