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A Place at the Table: 1942

A Place at the Table: 1942

May 1942. Greenbelt, Maryland. Back at the Dream Kitchen table. "Federal housing project. Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Atkins, Ann, and Pierce Atkins having supper." Photo by Marjory Collins, Office of War Information. View full size.


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I've been waiting

for someone else to say that Mr. Atkins reminds them of Porter Hall, who played Granville Sawyer, the Macy's in-house Psychiatrist from the movie Miracle On 34th Street.

Mr. Shellhammer

I'm thinking Mr. Atkins resembles Mr. Shellhammer from "Miracle on 34th Street."

Defending Mr. Atkins

Since he is no longer around to defend himself (or well over 100 yrs. old), a close up perusal of his mustache shows he is sporting the very popular style of the '20s - '50s worn by many men, i.e. Clark Gable, Errol Fynn, etc. The center part of the 'stach may be a little darker, but it's full width!! No Hitler fan, I'm sure!

Howard Sprague

My vote is for Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson) as the County Clerk from the Andy Griffith Show.

Table envy

Had the Atkins' relatives in England seen this photo, I'm sure that they would be very impressed with such wartime bounty.

The High Chair

The high chair that the boy is sitting on (as opposed to a modern day highchair) looks exactly like the one I had growing up in the 50s. All metal construction and frankly, a little tippy!

1940 Census

Shows that Leslie Atkins and wife, Edith, were both born in England. Leslie is "Chief Clerk, Agriculture". He claims his salary to be $2,000. Both kids are there but, of course, two years younger.


I have that tablecloth, it was my grandmothers. I only take it out for special meals. She would be tickled to know that seeing it was an everyday table cover for her.

If looks could kill

I'm thinking that Ann is protesting the vegetables (spinach?) while her Dad, Mr. (Hitler) Atkins is saying "You WILL eat at least this much," while Ann is thinking "Oh no, I won't." So it'll be a standoff while Mom eats with a lump in her throat.

The dishes are Homer Laughlin's 1930's first issue of "Harlequin" which was a cheaper version similar to Fiesta. They were very colorful and came in lots of nifty hues (I like the chartreuse best) but chipped very easily and were reissued in about 1977 as retro. The butter dish came with your new refrigerator to fit perfectly in the butter keeper compartment. The tablecloth is an example of what has become a very desirable vintage item. The main course appears to be a meat loaf baked in a bundt pan, trendy at the time. The boy's milk glass looks like it has airplanes pictured. One can tell it is a warm climate by the amount of ice cubes in the water glasses since people in the northeast were lucky to have 1 or 2 cubes to a person as most people did not have icemakers. I am not a know-it-all, just very old. What else do you want to know?


Agree Mr Mel, he does resemble a young Walt Disney. However, with more weight and that expression on his face, my first thought was The Great Gildersleeve.


These people are what used to be approvingly called "house-proud." I find it touching that Mrs. Atkins baked the humble meatloaf in a ring mold, scooped the mashed potatoes into balls, and made fancy yeast rolls, perhaps in honor of their photographer guest.

Bits and Pieces

1. A man dining in his own kitchen with just family, yet wearing a coat and tie. Don't see that so much these days.
2. Elbows off the table, Pierce!

About that 'stache

While it's not exactly the same, Mr. Atkins' mustache has a sufficiently Hitler-ish resemblance that I'm surprised he hadn't shaved it off or let it grow in a different manner.


Mr Atkins bears a strong resemblance to Walt Disney.

An extra place

Either somebody was late for dinner, or else Ms. Collins was going to join them.

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