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Crossing Dearborn: 1941

Crossing Dearborn: 1941

July 1941. Crossing Dearborn Street in Chicago. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the FSA. What's the street we're looking down?


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Washington Shirt Co

My grandfather was vice president of the Washington Shirt Company at this time.

Morrow's Nut House

I see a Morrow's Nut House; I had thought it was just in my hometown. It seems they are in a lot of places.

I've been trying to Google this name to see where and when it started. So far, even Wikipedia has nothing on it.

Can someone enlighten me as to where Morrow's Nut House got started?

[This article might be a good place to start. The earliest Morrow's ad I can find is from 1933. - Dave]

re: Vertical Seams

Dan V wrote: "The invention of nylon stockings around 1939 or so did away with the seams..." Not entirely. I remember wearing seamed nylons in the 1960's and trying to keep them straight.

Wiebolt dept. store

That building with ...BOLT on it is Lebolt's at 27 N. State St. They were a high end jeweler. Wiebolt's did not have a store in the Loop area until they took over Mandel Bros building in the '60s.

Dearborn at Washington Street

The real giveaway is, as someone else pointed out, Stop and Shop. One of our family's favorite stores. Also seen on the far right is Wiebolt's Department Store, defunct for quite a few years.

Highway Shield

The sign we are seeing the back on the traffic light is for City US 20, which was located along Washington Street at that year.

Block 37

It is indeed Washington Street; per the Chicago Tribune in 1935, Washington Shirt Company had occupied that corner since 1895. Which would make this the infamous Block 37, leveled in the late 1980s for a redevelopment scheme that fell through. It's only now being built up again. If you were standing there today, you would have your back to the plaza in front of Richard J. Daley center, home to the Picasso, and would be looking at the future studios of CBS Channel 2.

What cross street?

Another vote for Washington Street. The sign for "Stop & Shop" can be seen below the big "Morrow's Nut House" panel. Some quick Google sleuthing came up with the old Stop & Shop gourmet market located on Washington Street between Dearborn and State. Washington Street now ends at Millennium Park.

Re: Vertical Seams

And then when the war came, they used some leg makeup and DREW the seams on with an eyebrow pencil. Nylons did not get rid of seams, really. It was a style.

Re: Open air taxi?

The taxi is a Checker Model A landaulet. There are a few photos similar cabs here:

Hemmings link.

Vertical Seams

Note the seams on the stockings of the ladies in the left foreground. They took some care to get them perfectly straight. The invention of nylon stockings around 1939 or so did away with the seams, and also cut the cost of hosiery considerably from the silk ones. My grandmother told stories of hating to mess with those seams, trying to keep them straight.

Washington Street?

My guess is that we're looking east down Washington Street. You can make out the name "Washington Shirt Co." on the building on the left. If you are heading east down Washington at the intersection with Dearborn, you are only 3-4 blocks from the open water, the reason there are no buildings in the background - Washington stops at the lakefront.

Hope this helps!

Chicago Taxi

Strange looking, I have never seen one like that before.

Open air taxi?

Am I seeing things or does the back seat in the taxi to the left appear to be open air? It seems to be covered by an awning, with the back window removed. Good I guess for the summer, but they must have had to replace the window in the winter.

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