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Zines & Beans: 1938

November 1938. "Capitol Avenue storefronts, Omaha, Nebraska." Medium format negative by John Vachon for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

November 1938. "Capitol Avenue storefronts, Omaha, Nebraska." Medium format negative by John Vachon for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Not a trace

The street was redone sometime in the 1950s. The Edward Zorinsky Federal Building was originally completed in 1958 as a home to the US Army Corps of Engineers. It's been modified a couple of times, most recently completed as a post-9/11 security and environmental retrofit in 2008. It is an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly and sustainable building.

But I'd do anything to sit in Sam's Barber Shop shown in the original image and listen to the stories drift in and out with each customer.

Re: Error in description

The information that I provided in regard to the store is easily found in the Omaha city directories from 1936, 1938, and 1940. I have attached extracts that verify the information that was provided.

Perhaps Hazel's daughter was simply just never told how her mother ran a news store prior to being married, and that her uncles also were clerks in their grandfather's store.

Bygone 'Zines Dealers

Shortly before this photo was taken, the "Zines" store had been one of two news dealer stores of Charles C. Savage. This one, at 1618 Capitol Avenue, was being run by his daughter Hazel Lydia Savage. Two of her brothers both worked at the main family store at 1260 S. 16th in 1938.

Hazel married Paul Colgrove on November 6, 1938, moved to Bandon, Oregon where she spent the rest of her life, and had a daughter, Colleen. The couple divorced in 1966. Hazel was born on September 12, 1917 in Omaha, and died January 15, 2011 in Bandon.

After Hazel Savage, the store on Capitol Avenue became the business of Paul William Lehn. His last name can be partially seen in the window. He was born in Nebraska to George and Madeline Lehn in 1920. Less than a year after the photo was taken he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on June 19, 1941. After WWII he became an accountant, and he remained in Omaha at least through the late 1950s. He died on Chrismas Day, 1971 in Los Angeles, California, but he was buried back in Omaha.

Queued Cars

From left to right:

1. 1937 Ford Tudor or Fordor (slant back)
2. 1932 Ford V8 with non-standard bumper
3. 1935 Oldsmobile L-35
4. 1936 Studebaker, likely a Dictator
5. 1929 Ford Model A Deluxe Delivery
6. 1936 Ford Deluxe Tudor Touring Sedan
7. 1933 Plymouth coupe (Business Coupe?)
8. 1937 DeSoto S3 Touring Sedan

Note the partial reflections of the cars in the store windows.


The second car from the left is a 1932 Ford sedan with an aftermarket trunk mounted on an aftermarket support made by Kari-Keen or possibly Potter.

Falstaff Beer

The Falstaff brewery was south of downtown Omaha near 25th and Vinton Streets. Another Omaha local beer (also defunct) was Storz. Of course, there are numerous craft beers now brewed locally - and those have much more flavor than the old locals! Try 'Lucky Bucket' if you can find it.

Half-Seen Zine Store

A big bunch of people on FictionMags, an invitational Yahoo group I'm in, have been fascinated by the "zine" shop on the far left, and what the kid visible in the window is reading.

Other images of magazines and especially newsstands here on Shorpy, for instance the recent 1938 Omaha newsstand, have been widely dissected.

Shop to right?

What is the shop between New Capitol Bar and Dean Lunch? I can only make out the word "Falstaff", and the objects in the window give few clues as to what they sell.

[It's part of the New Capitol Bar; Falstaff is a brand of beer. -tterrace]

Shorpy and history.

My son hooked me up to the Shorpy site years ago. Have just recently gotten the nerve to register and leave a comment. I really enjoy all the photos, the depression era by Dorothea Lange, And the photos of the old cars. Keep up the excellent work Dave.

Oysters in Omaha? You betcha!

Just a few blocks south of 1610 Capitol Ave (Now the Doubletree Hotel and First National Bank) lies a great seafood joint called appropriately 'Shucks' with a great oyster stew and all sorts of the succulent bivalves on the half shell - from both coasts, and even occasionally from the Choctawhatchee Bay in the Gulf. I've lived in Omaha for 31 years and vouch for the freshness of the seafood offerings here in our fair city. (Also has pretty good beefsteaks, as well!!!!)

Can't say I've ever seen that 1935 Olds still around, though we like our classic cars here as well. Salty roads in the winter have been the ruin of many a fair classic, including my old '71 VW Westphaia.

Rear door

1929 Ford Sedan Delivery

Current prices begin around $30,000


The Funkymobile is a 28/29 Ford Model A Sedan Delivery. Very rare and desirable to the restorers and hot rodders alike. I'd choose it over all the cars in the lineup

What Kind Of Oysters?

As a son of The Land Of Pleasant Living I have always been leery when traveling of restaurants advertising oysters. If a restaurant isn't within 50 miles of a major oyster producing body of water I won't order them since my preference in oysters run to the Chincoteague style and not the Bull Durham variety.

Travel Rule #1

Don't order the seafood when the nearest ocean is 1000 miles away. Or do, but eat it with a side of Imodium.


I favor the funky one fifth from the left, with the interesting back door. Anybody know what it is? Maybe it is my fondness for VW buses in my youth, but it looks intriguing.

Before Parking Lines

Have the feeling the 2nd car from the right, is going to be a little upset when it's time to back out. 1-1990 must have squeezed into that parking spot. Even after parking lines, he's probably still parking like that.


The adulation for that Oldsmobile would vanish quickly when one of its pistons blew --- - common problem for the 35s and 36s. Mine failed leaving Jackon Hole, Wyoming in 1948. Had to limp over the mountains and down into Salt Lake City where the second piston failed necessitating an engine tear-down in a parking lot.

No longer there

The buildings have since been torn down. A Doubletree hotel sits in its place. Don't know if the restaurant serves oyster stew or not.

Spotted Car

1-1813 is a 1935 Oldsmobile L-35 touring car as seen here.

Spotted car

1-1813 is a 1935 Oldsmobile top of the line sedan .

Top to Bottom

Sam in 1616 and 1616½ has you covered from one end to the other.

Hurry up!

I don't know what that third car from the left is, with the 1-1813 license plate, but I want it and I want it now. I also want 45 cents worth of oyster stew, with some of them teeny little saltines and some Tabasco.

And make sure that the oysters are the kind that grow in the ocean and not around Omaha, Nebraska, if you please.

Oyster stew!

It's been forty years since I've made oyster stew! I'll bet mine was better, because I used oysters we picked up off the beach, at Dabob Bay, on Washington's Hood Canal the night before, and opened that day. In Nebraska, I'll bet they had to use canned! I'd even settle for canned right now, though!

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