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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Elko Tango: 1940

Elko Tango: 1940

March 1940. "Stores on main street. Elko, Nevada." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Elko seems to like "elks"

Elk Hotel, Elk Club, Elk Bar.

Elko is said to have been named by Charles Crocker, a superintendent of the Central Pacific Railroad. He was especially fond of animal names and added the letter "o" to Elk. There is no definitive evidence of this naming history, but it has become the widely accepted version.


The car closest to the camera is a 1934-35 Buick Series 40 flat back sedan (Model 47). The 1934 Buicks continued through 1935 with few changes until the completely redesigned 1936 models came out in September 1935.


Any old CB user is aware of atmospheric 'skipping' and hearing and possible talking to another user hundreds of miles away. Shortwave starts where AM radio ends, so ham operators are familiar with the phenomenon.

Long Wire Rooftop Radio Antennas

The closest radio station to Elko in 1940 was in Twin Falls, Idaho---137 miles north northeast. A listener would be hard pressed to hear that thousand watter on summer days. Nevada's only station was even weaker and 232 miles west southwest in Reno. The only reliable summer daytime reception came from 202 miles east from 50,000 watt KSL, Salt Lake City. Nights and winter offered much better reception from the West Coast and principal cities west of the Mississippi.

proper names

I'm loving the Elko photos- I got there a couple of years later than these, but it still was the same when I did. Lifelong resident of the State, I still end up there now and then.
But, Billy B should be informed that there weren't many "farmers" in the state, but rather we still are a state of mostly ranchers. Big diff.

I spy

An old (probably new at the time the picture was taken) fish bowl gas pump half way down the street in front of the John Deere store. As there isn't a dedicated fueling spot, I am assuming the farmers came in with a five gallon can to be filled.

Commercial Street

One street over from Idaho, where our house was and the previous pictures were taken. The only thing missing is a drunk or two passed out on the sidewalk. It was a pretty rough town.

I'm New in Town

Anybody know where I could find a good stiff drink?

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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