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O.K. Soap: 1936

O.K. Soap: 1936

Interior of the general store in Moundville, Alabama. Photographed by Walker Evans in the summer of 1936. Top shelf inventory: 1 box Peter Loaded Shells, 2 chairs, 2 Aurora oil cans, 8 boxes quart-size Ball square mason fruit jars, 2 small lanterns, 3 large lanterns, 9 galvanized tubs, 1 trunk. Maybe someone would like to inventory the rest of the room. View full size | View even larger.


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Inventory Addendum

Snow Ball Self Rising Flour (Columbia, Tenn)
Hi Ball Self Rising Flour (Nugrade Mills- Columbia, Tenn)
Bags of Salt
Strongboy Padlocks
Peters "Victor" ammunition is sagging the second shelf down
A couple of boxes of Peters .22 "Filmkote" on on the left side, one opened


I inherited one of those lanterns from my grandfather. It is blue. I have a photo of it hanging in his barn. I checked it against the one in this photo and it appears to be exactly the same manufacturer.

re: Coca Cola Poster

If you had that original very excellent would be valuable!

Coca Cola Poster

I really really love that Coca Cola Poster. Wish I had a copy.


This looks like the inventory stipulated in a survivalist's manual. All basic stuff and no dependency on high technology. Bring along the doll in the Coke ad and you're ready to hide out for the winter.

Peters Shells

The item on the top shelf is a crate of shells and not a box. The crate would contain 500 shotshells: 20 boxes containing 25 shotshells each.

I doubt that the crate was full. The weight full would be substantial and only the unwise would store it that high up from the floor.

The safe

Nobody noticed the floor safe....

Two Calendars

I am sure the one calendar with January is inventory.

1936 Calendars

The calendars are correct. Click here. In leap years January has the same calendar as July. And if you have a 1936 calendar don't throw it away -- you can use it again in 2020.

Two Calendars

Im curious about the two calendars, one january, one july but the day and date order are the same according to my computer calendar this does not happen in the same year but on the next year. Am I right?

Oh no

That explains why the till came up short. I hope nobody lost their job due to the reported shortage in oil lamps. I've corrected the figure in the caption.

Counts off

The list for the top shelf says two small lanterns and
two large lanterns. Looks like three large to me.

Re: Sharpness

This image is a little over sharpened. I blame it on my efforts to bring out more detail in the product labeling. I've updated the image to look a little better.

Left in a hurry

Who ever opened the crate on the floor was after its contents in a hurry. . . .Hammer, screwdriver and empty beer glass on the rolling box in center. Papers and crate tipped at an odd angle on the floor. Piece of horse equipment behind it under the dishes. Plenty of sacks of "self-raising" (don't need salt or baking powder) flour for flapjacks as well.


I don't know if it's the source material (in which case ignore me), but most of the pictures posted here seem like they've been slightly over-sharpened, giving them an unreal quality. This seems like a good example of that - it's not by much, but to my eyes it seems just a little overdone. Anyone else care to comment?

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