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Crossville Loafers: 1937

Crossville Loafers: 1937

1937. "Men loafing. Crossville, Tennessee." View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Ben Shahn for the Farm Security Administration.


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Still there!

I have an aunt in Crossville, who says Mitchell Drug is still there with the same windows!

Good health to all...

That was a time when people actually met and talked with each other downtown. They even made eye contact.

An architect who wanted more jobs designed shops that were people-friendly.

Window shopping happened all the time at that drug store, I'll bet.


I like the Ex-Lax clock (or thermometer?) on the left side.

[It looks like a clock. So the sidewalk loafers had no excuse for not knowing when it was time to, um, go. - Dave]

Vacation Special

It was a toothbrush and carrying case combo. Both only 50 cents!


The Rexall drugstore was the hangout in every town back then. In fact, out west they had a name for fake cowboys who never saw a cow but dressed the part: "Rexall Cowboys." They usually had a soda fountain in these stores, so the proprietor wanted people hanging around. In a small town, everyone knew everyone else, so there was no fear entering the Rexall through the crowd.

Dr West

Dr. West and Dr Lyons were brands of dental care products. I had a Dr. West's toothbrush and was given a choice of Dr. Lyons tooth powder or baking soda for dentifrice, circa 1938.

Dr. West and his vaccination special

I am guessing that Dr West went to medical school with Dr. Scholl and Dr Pepper, but what is the "Vaccination Special"?

[It's what you get before going on vacation. - Dave]

Window Shopping

Kinda hard to do any window shopping at that drug store with a group of men sitting in front of the display windows. It's almost like running the gantlet to enter the store. Wonder why the architect/builder intentionally put those ledges in front of the show windows? Surely they must have known people would promptly sit down on them.

Checkpoint Chickie

Looks like the fellow on the left is wearing a badge. He's got that "Sheriff" look in his eye, too. The fellow sitting next to him appears to be explaining his whereabouts on the evening in question. The younger guy on the far right seems to be amused by the explanation.

Goober Pea

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