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Little Creek: 1938

Little Creek: 1938

July 1938. "General store and post office in Little Creek, Delaware. A fishing village." Medium format negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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Hol(e)y Fender, Batman!

The holes in the rear fender of the bike were used to thread heavy string or twine to create a guard to keep a young girl's skirt from getting tangled up in the spokes. I'm sure their short sun dresses were not in any danger though.

Clockface Pump

This is a fairly common gas pump from the 1930s known as a clockface pump. Here is a photo of a restored pump. We can assume the hose unseen is on the opposite side.

That pump handle

I'm no gas pump historian, so may be completely wrong, but is it possible that the hose and nozzle are stored inside the locked door on the face we do see?

Gas Pump Shadow

Ref BYOH comment, it's July, so sun is very high in the sky and this is probably around noon as well. Shadow length would be minimal. Notice the shade under the covered store porch where the girls are is nearly directly underneath. I suspect that that clump of shaded grass just to the right of the pump is the pump and both the handle and the hose. Since the sun is coming directly down, all would appear as one small shadow.


I don't see a hose and nozzle, or even the shadow of one.

Quiet today?

Little Creek is still a quiet town today. Although it isn't too quiet when huge airplanes take off or land at Dover Air Force Base, given that Little Creek is about a mile away from the end of the main runway.

One pump, no waiting

Besides being able to buy any milk, bread and cold cuts you needed inside the store, along with a fudge bar or two for the kids, all the gasoline service you needed then in Little Creek was handled through that one pump.

Very nice picture.

A quiet place, in the calm before the storm of World War II.

A Rose by any other abbreviation

According to the 1940 census log, R.A. Haggerty was Rose Haggerty, whose occupation was listed as "post mistress." She was married to oyster planter George C. Haggerty, and they had two daughters, Mary Louise and Rageno, who were nine and eight in the spring of 1940. According to Mary Louise's July 2012 obituary she was eighteen months older than her sister Jean, who is now Jean Lawson of Dover. It also states that Mary Louise "didn't care for working at her Mother's General Store or going to school. In fact, her high school yearbook listed as her ambition 'housewife' and that she 'intends not to be a clerk in a store.'" One might speculate about whether the two girls in this photo are eight-year-old Mary Louise and six or seven-year-old Jean.

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