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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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An Impressive Specimen: 1942

An Impressive Specimen: 1942

August 1942. Washington, D.C. "Housewife bargaining in the store owned by Mr. J. Benjamin." Photo by Gordon Parks, Office of War Information. View full size.

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Dicker not

I’d say the “United States Controlled Prices” sign and it being wartime would prevent “dickering” the price of produce.


What I find interesting is that in that place and time it was considered appropriate to dicker over the price of fruit. Even my grandmother - bane of shopkeepers across the city, who never, ever paid retail - never dickered over groceries, that I knew.


If only all the commenters had waited an hour and twenty minutes, they could have seen the watermelons in the window of the shop in the very next post ( as well as the sign advertising Water Mellon.

Misfit Melon

A misshapen watermelon like that won't make it to market these days, although I bet it tasted great. Nothing beats cold watermelon on a summer day!


Watermelons now resemble blimps: very ovoid, at least in the Deep South. I do remember them being more slender ages ago. The “green stripe” example, shown here, is still prized in Louisiana. We never worried about the seeds -- but if you ate one you were doomed!

That face

The look on that young man's face is priceless.

[That young man is wearing a dress, because he's a girl. And that's a watermelon. I can't take you people anywhere! - Dave]


The trademark details define them as “frozen confections comprising a body composed of a frozen milk product and a coating of edible substance.” Where I come from, these were called Revels.

And what is that beast? A squash?

Am I only one wondering ??

Just what is that fruit/vegetable?? I have no clue.

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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