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Clean Plate Club: 1943

Clean Plate Club: 1943

March 1943. "Pearlington, Mississippi. Truck drivers at a coffee stop on U.S. Highway 90." Photo by John Vachon, Office of War Information. View full size.


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The little decanters

I agree that some of the little bottles were cream, but what about the ones that looked full of powder? Sugar?

Nickel bets

Don't know about the meal, but I'd love to have any one of those old, mechanical, one-arm bandits! They may have been crooked, but they were pretty pieces of machinery.

Reminds me of Paul Newman

The fellow with the fork to his mouth looks a lot like Paul Newman in Hud or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Or maybe it's just the hat.

RE: REAL coffee creamer!

Indeed noelani, perhaps some of them would have been appalled, but then again I remember having seen more than a few articles, newsreels, cartoons, and such from this time period touting the postwar world of the future where people would no longer have to toil at menial tasks like harvesting grain and milking cows (or brewing coffee for yourself), and that science and technology would rid us of the need to bother ourselves with food preparation, or concern ourselves with things like crop pests and drought. So in fact, I think might be equally likely that time travelers from this period to ours would be more dumbfounded at our modern obsessions such as “sustainable organic” and “farm to table”!

REAL coffee creamer!

It doesn't look like those men drank their coffee black! Look at those little cream bottles! Maybe it was half and half, and not heavy cream, but you can bet that it actually came from a cow, unlike what we get, these days! I think if people from WWII era and before could see what we eat, now, they would be appalled at all of the non-food that we eat. I think they'd also be appalled by the way that coffee has become something many people don't make for themselves, but spend $8 a day to have made for them (with more artificial ingredients added).

Post-script to KINES:
You may be correct about a certain section of society, but not everybody. My grandfather, who was in his 30s when the picture was taken, was a dairy farmer, at the time. I'm sure he probably dreamed of something less demanding than milk a bunch of cows, by hand, every morning and evening. However, he was still around in the 90s, and he WAS appalled at some of what was passing for food! I think he, and many others, would have appreciated some of the new technology that would have shortened his work day, considerably, but he would still have wanted to have REAL food, for his labors. The only people I can imagine who would not also want that would be those born too late to have a chance to get to know what food was for millennia before they were born.

Slot Machines

I just wish I owned one of those slot machines in the background. Today they're worth a small fortune!

Look out behind you!

One armed bandits!

Hand me my salts!

The glass salt shakers with the bumpy cross-hatching have been around forever. My mother and grandmother each had one, and the shaker I bought in college sits on my kitchen table now. The design is at least 75 years old, and still in production!

Highway 90: The jobs are gone . . .

Highway 90 ran from Jacksonville, Florida, to West Texas.

Can't hear the name now without thinking of Nanci Griffith's "Gulf Coast Highway," a song worth a listen.

Police protection needed

Pearlington is west of Gulfport, my childhood home. In 1955 a 2nd grade classmate was the son of a local policeman. I remember looking through the window of their garage and seeing a row of slot machines much like the ones in this photo, though they were 25 cent slots. I had never seen so many shiny quarters. I guess my friend's dad was keeping them out of the hands of malefactors.

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