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Scenic Route: 1941

September 1941. "Tunbridge, Vermont -- the main street." Medium format negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

September 1941. "Tunbridge, Vermont -- the main street." Medium format negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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VT 110

Apparently the Vermont Route 110, scenic for the many covered bridges I suppose. The Howe, Cilley, Mill, Larkin and Flint Covered Bridges in the Tunbridge Village Historic District.

And did you know that Tunbridge has its own World's Fair?

Streetview vs Delano

The Delano picture is classic Norman Rockwell, while Google Streetview is depressing rural America that could easily be West Virginia or Pennsylvania. The interesting thing is that, unlike a lot of Shorpy, most of the buildings in the Delano shot are in the Streetview shot (the dilapidated building on the left is gone).

But Delano is using a lens that puts the buildings closer together than what we see in Streetview, and the gas station signs -- which would have been considered defacement of proud colonial buildings in 1940 -- look quaint to our eyes. Also, we sense an active community life in the Delano pictures. Tunbridge 2012 just looks dead (and defaced by some unfortunate post-1940 modifications).

Photography is art -- not just representation. Here lives an example of that.

"Credit" cards

I grew up in the late '40s and early '50s in Anaheim. I always remember that my parents always and only purchased Mobilgas. They used an "IBM" punch card with their name and account data. You'd give the attendant the book of IBM cards, they'd enter the amount and $, Mom or Dad would sign the card, tear it off the stub and give it to the dealer. As I recall this was Mobil Oil's credit system all the way into the 1960s, maybe slightly longer. A statement would come in the mail and payment was made by check in a return envelope.

Credit Cards, in 1941?

The biggest surprise for me is that Mobilgas accepts credit cards! I did not realize there were credit cards in 1941. I was born in 46, and don't remember my parents having a credit card before the late '50s early '60s!

[Retail merchant credit cards (as opposed to general purpose bank cards) got their start in the 1920s. - Dave]

Real Ice Cream

I'm glad to see Patterson's general store is serving real ice cream and not that fake stuff.

Tunbridge Today

The competition

I wonder if the Hutchinses of the grocery store and the Pattersons of the general store were friendly-like to each other.

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