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Sweet Snuff: 1938

Sweet Snuff: 1938

September 1938. "Express Agency office and general store in coal mining town of Scotts Run, West Virginia." Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Porcelain damage

Railway Express sign top center damage: that is why all the old porcelain signs you find have the same type of damage spot. Putting them up with a hammer and nail. Muscle up on the last hammer blow. There goes the glass.

Decisions, decisions!

Do I want to smoke it in a cigarette or smoke it in a pipe or dip it or snort it or chew it? The only delivery methods not advertised here are the more modern ones: patches, lozenges, and gum.

As a long-time smoker, clean for some four years, I confess that these signs prompt more than a little nostalgia for the days when we could feign ignorance as to the damage we were self-inflicting!


Snuff and Coal Dust, life was good back then. You can die of black lung or mouth cancer.

Semester's worth of college money

in those signs. Oh that Mail Pouch.... Just beautiful to see that.

Those Signs Would be Valuable Today

These metal advertising signs, and the Railway Express Agency sign, would be quite valuable today. Back then, they were considered to be of little value and thus were allowed to rust away.

The structure has a deep roof overhang on the left side, supported by diagonal braces rather than posts. The right half of the building is an addition as evidenced by the different width of the clapboards. There's an interesting worn area on the clapboard just to the left of the REA door. This adds evidence of un-depicted human activity to the photo. The weather-beaten porch floor looks like a tripping accident waiting to happen.

It's milder

Than what? – a kick in the chest by a mule?

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