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Hi-Way Tavern: 1939

Hi-Way Tavern: 1939

March 1939. "Signs in front of highway tavern. Crystal City, Texas." And, somewhere back there amid the signage, a gas station. Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Sign of a woman

Always nice to see a woman's touch. The family must live upstairs; hence the potted plant and a towel hanging on the line.

Grand Prize not so grand

My grandfather worked for a Grand Prize distributor in southeast Texas in the 1950s and he always said its taste left a lot to be desired. As Pennsylvaniaproud said, quantity over quality.

On a side note, the Gulf Brewing Company, makers of Grand Prize, was once owned by Howard Hughes.

I Am Saddened

They don't have Squirt advertised. Very popular during the early and middle 40's. But Squirt wasn't made until about 1938 so, maybe, the popularity of the soda had not made its way to this location yet in 1939.

Never Heard This One Before

Found out that Delaware Punch was named for one of its main ingredients, the Delaware grape. Then found out the Delaware grape is named for Delaware County, Ohio, where it was first grown--and where I happen to live.

Add Nehi

That makes 10/11.

OK, I give up.

Where's the Orange Crush?

[Between the 7ups. -tterrace]

Although I do spy half of a Nehi sign in the shadows (left of Blatz Beer).

Very collectible signs, all

Any collectors want to estimate the combined value of all those signs in today's market?

Long-lasting brands!

Let's see:

7up - check
Dr. Pepper - check
Delaware Punch - check
Coca-Cola - check
Budweiser - check
Pearl beer - check
Blatz beer - check
Gulf oil - check

I believe the only brand name not in use today is Grand Prize beer. Pretty impressive 8 for 9 in an 80-year-old photo!!

[Or 9 for 10 if we count the Orange Crush sign. - Dave]

Delaware Punch

I haven't had a Delaware Punch in decades. Do they still make that?

Home of Popeye the Sailor

At the time, Crystal City's main economic engine was the cultivation of spinach, and March of 1939 was the two year anniversary of the installation in front of city hall of the statue of Popeye the Sailor. The statue was erected to celebrate the economic contribution of spinach to the local economy, which was especially important to the city during the Depression. The statue still stands, and Crystal City hosts the annual Spinach Festival every November.

Color me impressed

This would be a good candidate for colorization.

Blatz Beer

When you're drinking for Quantity not Quality.

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