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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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Skillet Dinner: 1950s

Skillet Dinner: 1950s

"Man and woman at stove cooking." The first of thousands of 4x5 negatives, retired from the archives of mid-century newspapers, acquired by Shorpy. Most of these are undated and have little or no caption information. If you recognize any of the subjects or locales, let us know in the Comments. View full size.

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Looking forward

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing more of the thousands of pics.

The stove from my past

Somewhere along the way in my life gone by, I recall a gas stove exactly like that, most likely from one of the furnished rental homes in which I once lived. What jogged my memory is the matching square white porcelain S & P shakers on either side of the timer at the back of the stove. I remember that if you kept them right there, they would always be greasy and food-splattered and rather unappealing, and the salt would become one big lump from the steam, but I think they were intended only for use to season whatever was cooking on the stove and we had different shakers on the kitchen table. The streamlined look of the three functional items together was pleasing and made a uniform design, along with the knobs for igniting the burners. In this pic, even the cabinet doors above the stove have well-coordinated handles and it all looks very sleek together. The rectangular porcelain covers for the burners folded up and snapped into place, out of the way, or could be placed flat over all the burners when the stove was not in use. Very neat.

I must say though that I never knew a real cook who would wear a long sleeved, white silk blouse and brand new organdy apron and have her hair done to cook splattery, greasy meals although we did eat a lot of stew. I think the 1950's may have been my favorite decade so far. Thank you for letting me into your home or place of business.

Before cholesterol was bad

Those were the days! Cholesterol wasn't bad yet, and now that it's not bad again, pass the fat and make some stew!

Too much fat?

Welcome to flavour country!


Looks like the first steps for making beef stew.

For Extra Flavor

I couple ladles of rendered pork fat from the lard pot can't hurt.

Meat! Meat! Meat!

Those fatty-looking chunks of meat-wrapped fat appear destined for the Gallery of Regrettable Food...


I think that watch says 4:20 PM and she is just starting dinner.

All that raw fatty meat - hope she's planning to cook it for hours to render that fat off.

Meat and Potatoes Guy?

Nah, forget the potatoes. Let's boil us up a big batch of fatty chuck roast.

I'm probably wrong

But that guy is a dead ringer for the late Jack Lemmon.

[As played by Bill Holden. -tterrace]

Well Alice,

that's enough for me, but what are you going to eat?


They'll need to turn on the gas first.

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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