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Southington: 1942

Southington: 1942

May 1942. Offices of the Southington News in Southington, Connecticut. 3x4 Kodachrome transparency by Fenno Jacobs for the OWI. View full size. After researching this post we find that stop signs in the U.S. were yellow until 1954.


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These buildings are still standing today. I'll try to take a picture.

Yellow Stop Signs

"In 1935 the Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices published the first Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. It defined a stop sign as a 24x24 octagon with red or black letters on a yellow background. In 1954, the MUTCD made a major change - the background color was changed to red and the lettering was made white. This, then is the stop sign as we know it today."

-- From Happy Birthday Stop Sign

Stop sign

I think the stop sign, shown from the back, is probably made from some kind of treated wood that has a yellowish tinge, and very likely the front of it IS red---just as stop signs seen from the back today are a dull metallic grey.

[Most stop signs were yellow in the olden days. - Dave]

the stop sign

Were stop signs once yellow? It's obviously a stop sign because of its location and shape. When did they all become red?

[In 1954. See above. - Dave]

Re: Break out the lawnmower

Looking at the composition of this photo, I believe that the intent of the photographer was to focus on the Atlantic gas station sign, rather than on the Southington News. Although the gas station may have been intentionally spruced up a bit in advance of this photo shoot, it's still hard to believe that the town newspaper offices across the street would allow the premises to become so unkempt. [Fenno took several photos of the Southington News offices, which he probably used while on assignment there. See below. - Dave]

Check out how well manicured the corner of the filling station lot is in the foreground, with it's closely cropped lawn and neatly trimmed hedges and bushes. Perhaps The Southington News had relocated or closed down?

The building looks kinda deserted to me. Granted, it could be on a weekend, but that red truck in the parking lot isn't going anywhere fast with two flat tires.

Aside from that, I love the latticework of these old signposts, and the fact that they're illuminated by overhanging incandescent lights. Note the old style streetlamp in the background too.

Also interesting here are the thick wooden stop sign, the man walking in the alley in the background (between the signpost and the building), and umm, when's the last time you whipped out your trusty old "Atlantic" credit card?

Break out the lawnmower

The Southington News needs to cut the grass!

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