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Icing on the Coke: 1938

Icing on the Coke: 1938

October 1938. "Icing soft drink refrigerator in general store of the Lake Dick cooperation association, a Farm Security Administration project near Altheimer, Arkansas." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the FSA. View full size.


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Bugler Tobacco

My father-in-law still smokes Bugler tobacco in a pipe. It looks like the packaging hasn't changed much!

Gay Black

Anyone else notice the gay black? No no you fool, it’s in the shelf next to the Shinola.

Plough, Inc.

Founded by Abe Plough (1892-1984) from Memphis, Tennessee, who mixed Plough's Antiseptic Healing Oil which he sold off a horse-drawn buggy. He eventually acquired St. Joseph Aspirin, Maybelline, and Coppertone. Merged with Schering Corp. to become Schering-Plough in 1971, taken over by Merck & Co. in 2001.


Those black OCB boxes at the lower left are cigarette rolling papers. I bought an identical looking box when I was in high school because I played the oboe and the absorbent OCB papers had no glue on them, so you could swab condensation from the keys without getting them all glued up.

I gave some packets to my oboe teacher, an older man playing in the Cleveland Orchestra, and he thanked me, commenting that it was embarrassing to have to ask for them at the drug store.

What the devil?!

I'll take a bottle of that 666 on the ten cent shelf.

Don't give me FLOP

I'm a Dapper Dan man

Dueling icepicks.

There's a spare for the clerk on the top shelf.

With all respect to the Farm Security Administration's (presumably) late vice-director for photo captioning, I don't think it's properly a refrigerator if you have to put ice in it. It's a cooler or icebox.


That's the brand some people don't know you know what from.

Number of The Beast

There's a product on the shelves, upper right, labeled "666," and it's a pretty big red flag when it comes to all things scriptural and eschatological. Turns out it's a cold medication, and I've seen it before in old photographs, mostly advertisements. It's still being made, but hard to find in stores.

Wooden wonder

I wonder what modern day's USPH would make of that wood framed display being used for apparently loose food items. Whatever those things are on the left side.


I had one of those Bugler cigarette rolling kit 50 years ago. Never could roll a decent smoke with it. A lot to look at in this photo.

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