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Tub Time: 1942

Tub Time: 1942

September 1942. Rochester, New York. "Earl Babcock's mother helping with his bath." Photo by Ralph Amdursky, Office of War Information. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Washcloth scrubbing

I was scrubbed with a washcloth as a young'un, and was taught to scrub myself with one, and it wasn't a terrible experience at all, but now that I'm all grown up and make my own decisions, I do not use a washcloth at all. Also, it turns out the older you get, the more dried out you get, so there's no need to exfoliate so vigorously.

Old is New

When I was growing up in the 1980s, the apartment we lived in had the exact same tile in that exact same pattern in the bathroom. I remember a cousin of mine telling me that if you crossed your eyes when looking at it, like it was a Magic Eye picture, you could make the floor seem miles below you, or as though you were standing on a glass floor, with that tile underneath. I thought it was ugly back then, but now, I would love to have antique tile like that in my bathroom.

Not much has changed

Other than the mothers clothing and hair style, this photo could almost be taken today. An exact or close approximation of everything else could be bought new off the shelf at Target and Lowes right now. Tile, tub, knobs, curtain, bathtub mat, bath rug, towel, washcloth ...

Shallow water

According to the 1940 Census, Earl the bather was 4 years old. He lived at 239 Seyle Terrace in Rochester with his father Howard A. (40), mother Mary E. (37), sister Shirley L. (18), brother Howard A. Babcock, Jr. (10), and lodger Alex N. Alexander, a 47-year-old widower born in the Irish Free State. Father Howard worked as a machinist in the gun industry.

A little more sleuthing reveals that the father is Howard Adelbert Babcock, born 7 May 1899, served in WWI, and died 29 Dec 1954.

239 Seyle Terrace is still standing, a multi-family dwelling on the corner of Seyle and Dewey.

[You will find these facts and more in the comments accompanying our previous Babcock photos. - Dave]

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