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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Name Your Poison: 1953

Name Your Poison: 1953

Along with the "tterrace lost and found" slides my friend and I came across in the spare room of his house a month back was a mini-trove of Kodachromes of his folks in 1953 he didn't know about. But he did instantly recognize the recreation room and bar his dad had built in the basement of their San Francisco home. A big holiday shindig is underway with friends and relations; other slides hint that it might be Thanksgiving. Meanwhile: set 'em up. His folks always knew how to really throw a party. Later in the decade and into the early 60s they took on a distinct Tiki flavor, not unusual for the time in general, but especially so for Pacific-theater WWII vets like his dad. That's his mom in the background attending to the record player. Hey buddy, you got a light? View full size.

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"Make mine a double!"

I've always wanted to say that.

One bourbon, one scotch and one beer

Or, possibly four scotches, one Coke and one excellent looking martini.

Seven drinks

I see four golden liquors (scotch? bourbon? rye?) on the rocks with the ice at varying levels of meltedness, one of those golden liquors neat, one martini with olives, and something with coke for Mrs. Sad Smoker. I also count six people + the photographer. All present and accounted for.

Frolicking Fifties

My Aunt Alice gave some rocking parties in their basement bar in the 50's. They even had a great pool table. New Year's Eve always found a lot of people there sometimes til the morning! As a kid I thought she was about the coolest person I knew. Like so many of the day, she was a smoker and I remember watching her light up and blow smoke rings.

Blowing Smoke

That looks like a Ronson cigarette lighter in the hand of the fellow at the bar. That was the most popular brand in my group with Zippo as a runner up. I remember that my brother gave me a Ronson cigarette lighter combined with a case that held 10 of my Chesterfields. I think it was for my high school graduation. I've attached a photo of a brown onyx combo that looks like the one I had. My other cigarette lighter memory was at the Playboy Club on 58th Street, where a pack of smokes that sold for around 35 cents at the time cost a dollar but came with a lighter embossed with a picture of a Bunny on it.

Back when I was one year old

That could have been a genuine Cuban cigar in the bartender's left hand. But it was probably a White Owl, a Dutch Masters or a Roi Tan.

Shaken please

Back when ordering a Big Mac was a completely different experience.

Metropolis after hours

Jimmy Olsen tends bar while the first Lois Lane smokes a cigarette. The 2nd Lois Lane spins the platter.

That girl!

The woman to the bartender's right could be Peggy Olson. I don't understand the metaphysics that place her on the other coast and in an earlier decade.

[We're the ones to the bartender's right, however. -tterrace]

Smoker's paradise

(almost) Everyone in sight is smoking. That's becoming a rare sight these days. I smoked for a lot of years, too, and being in a bar always seemed to lead to chain smoking ...

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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