SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Experimental Exit: 1936

Experimental Exit: 1936

July 1936. "Gas station road sign near Perry, Georgia." Photo by Dorothea Lange, connoisseur of the silly sign and benighted billboard. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

None of us is as dumb as all of us

What I love the best about "official" signs like this is wondering just how many people had to collaborate or approve or talk about this before it went up.

Shell, Mobil, Flying A, Gilmore?

I think what was painted out was a gasoline brand name.
The sign almost makes sense if you fill in the word "Shell", for example, in the blanks.

If AC Blackwell changed the brand sold at his station, and paid for the sign, he might not want to help other Frankenstein loving motorists find the laboratory over at the Shell stations if he was now selling Flying A.

I remember

The first day of First Grade being lined up by the teacher, telling us we were going to the lavatory.

How exciting! Chemicals and such, and only in first grade!

Hey, it's only a bathroom.


The whitewashed portions are perplexing.

Now it all makes sense

When I was little, I never could quite understand why we were going to the bathroom in a laboratory.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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