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About the Photos

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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Dwarfed: 1941

Dwarfed: 1941

April 1941. "South Side Chicago. Scene in Negro tavern." The walls adorned with murals from the Disney version of "Snow White." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Low on Camels

Looks like there may only be a one or two left in that pack. Better scare up 12 cents for another.

Tony's Tavern

"Russell Lee took this photograph on April 6, 1941, at Tony's Tavern. Located at Thirty-first and Federal Streets in Chicago, the heart of a neighborhood called Bronzeville, Tony's Tavern opened around 1900. Its owner, Tony Finkelstein, hosted some music legends—Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Estelle and Jimmy Yancey. Menu specialties of the house were gumbo, fried shrimp, and hot dogs. Although big-name jazz and blues performers were often showcased at Tony's Tavern, lesser-known groups were also welcome, such as the one shown here. The painted mural of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was used as an identity backdrop for photograph sessions."

From Images of America - Chicago Blues - By Wilbert Jones

We visited this place before - Cafe Society: 1941

A picker

Regarding the nails on the man in the center with the beer. I bet he was a guitar picker, left handed.

Hat Check

The men in my family were taught to remove hats before taking a seat. (Quite a few, er ... confrontations with my own son with regard to this social faux pas.) Perhaps the dapper folks in Chicago didn't get the memo?

[Perhaps you've never been to Chicago. - Dave]

Just like me

That lady on the right must be watching her carbs. She left her crust.

What class

Go out for a sandwich and a beer, dressed to the nines. Back then people took pride in their appearance.


That fellow in the middle has more delicate fingers and nails than the ladies on either side of him.

Every girl crazy

'bout a sharp dressed (and manicured) man.

Our front-and-center couple are enjoying what in Detroit (and maybe Chicago) we called a "boomba".

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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