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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Action Comics: 1940

Action Comics: 1940

April 1940. "Popcorn stand in Globe [i.e., Miami], Arizona." Where we can pick up a slightly dog-eared copy of Famous Funnies or Action Comics #23 for a dime. Decisions, decisions! Medium format negative by Russell Lee. View full size.

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N°2 Wagon

From the 1925 Cretors catalogue:

      A GREAT favorite, and the cheapest wagon machine we build. Thoroughly dependable in operation; very simple and durable. Hundreds of these machines are being used in connection with stores, sidewalk stands and other lines of business, with gratifying results.

      A No. 2 Wagon operated in front of your store is worth its cost as an advertisement alone. We are pleased to continue a model which in the past has proven itself the most successful and best money getter of any machine on the market of equal price.

      Store owners cannot afford to ignore this attractive and profitable adjunct to their business.

      Peanut Roaster capacity, about 10 pounds.

      Dimensions — Frame, 20 inches wide by 52 inches long. Popper case, 20x20x24 inches high. Extreme width, 31 inches. Height, 5 feet 10 inches. Weight, about 300 pounds.

      Write for Special Bulletin and complete Specifications.
Price and Installment Terms on Request.

413 Sullivan Street.

I believe, based on the windows and openings in the building, and the hill in the background, that we are here:

Re: True Confessions

My eyes are up here, Mister!

It's a mini-steam plant!

It's got it all!
1) Cute mini single-cylinder steam engine with a round belt going off to the lower right. (Belt visible behind the "4 o'clock" position of the flywheel.)
2) Feedwater tank on the left side.
3) Boiler water level glass on the right end.
4) Firebox drawer front and center, right below the smokestack which goes up the left side of the glass popcorn chamber
5) Last but not least, a steam pressure gauge which seems to be calibrated 0-60 PSI. One could presume a working pressure in the middle of that range.

In today's world, one would need a boiler operator's license to run a boiler with a working pressure of 30 PSI. The boiler would have to have an inspection certificate.

Certainly an interesting machine!


Check out this copy of Action #23 -- winning bid $14,694.

Even after using Photoshop

I can't make out what that sign in the window says. Help, anyone?

[Magazines 5¢ - Dave]


Busty lady of shady lane

Forget the comic books. The boys might be more distracted by the sexy lady on the cover of "True Confessions," which was kinda brazen for 1940.

Fior D'Italia boarding house

One recurring facet of life in mining towns like Globe was the presence of boarding houses with sarcastically classy names. Beyond the popcorn machine may be seen the Fior D'Italia boarding house. That was also the name of a business establishment in San Francisco that now claims to be the oldest restaurant in the city. Little sign can be found of the fate of this humble abode, which is not among the places mentioned in the Globe Downtown Historic District registry.

[Pretentious, maybe, but sarcastic? According to the sign, the proprietor is one Angelina Bairo (1880-1955), born in Turin, which would explain the name, which means "Flower of Italy." - Dave]

Got a dime?

That dime would have bought you a comic now worth somewhere between $1000 (min) and $65,000 (record). #23 was the first appearance of Lex Luthor.

Action Comics 23

This issue was the first appearance of Lex Luthor.
This very issue is on eBay for $6,500.

Get your popcorn ready

C. Cretors & Co. has been around for a good long time.

Charles Cretors introduced the world's first mobile popcorn machine at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Scientific American reported: "This machine ... was designed with the idea of moving it about to any location where the operator would be likely to do a good business. The apparatus, which is light and strong, and weighing but 400 or 500 pounds, can be drawn readily by a boy or by a small pony to any picnic ground, fair, political rally, etc. and to many other places where a good business could be done for a day or two."

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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