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Local Traffic: 1941

May 1941. "Intersection of the two main streets of Childersburg, Alabama." Acetate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

May 1941. "Intersection of the two main streets of Childersburg, Alabama." Acetate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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It appears to me that the arms supporting the illumination lamps for the 'TEXACO' sign also have insulators carrying telephone/telegraph wires. If so, that is most quaint and unusual.


The 'Dinette' is surrounded by new construction. Where did the rain water flow from its roof and the roof of the new building directly behind it I wonder. Both roofs slope down to a spot at the rear of the 'Dinette', but no downspout or scupper is visible.

That ladder

Here’s another view of the roof with the skyhook of the ladder poking up over the ridge. But I still can’t see the roof of the building next door from which Delano took the photo.

Covered Ads

I'll bet that the proprietor of the Drugs Cafe (Cafe Drugs?) wasn't too pleased that the new building next door covered his nicely painted advertisements on the wall. The bit that we can see doesn't look very weathered or faded, so it was either really good paint or relatively recently painted.

About the ladder

I'm guessing the ladder hangs on the roof by that makeshift "skyhook" that allows it to slide along the peak as needed. In this photograph the ladder is probably in storage, on the back side of the roof, just waiting for its next victim.

And yes, there was that time I had a similar skyhook fail on a ladder years ago, but that's another story.

The former not the ladder

Several days ago you posted a hotel with a precarious ladder to reach the flagpole from a rooftop window. Okay, understandable, if dangerous.

However, I can't see any reason for the ladder on the building at the bottom of the picture. There's no opening visible on the roof and no reason I can see to climb up there.

Surely they would not have gone to all that trouble to provide a way to inspect the chimney or that false storefront. Maybe it's to board a flying saucer.

Shorpy Tractor Identification Imperative

The little tractor on a trailer in the upper right of this photo intrigued me, because it looked distinctive and vaguely familiar. Then I remembered, it was a John Deere model "L," produced from 1937 to 1946. It replaced thousands of farm horses.


The name of "The Dinette" and the design of that hanging sign is really sweet.

Tracks and Lionel

This looks like a diorama from a really nice train set.

Buildings adjoining the Dinette

The building to the right of the Dinette on 8th Avenue (where the man is walking down the sidewalk) still exists. There's an old-school auto parts store there today. From the debris on the sidewalk against the front of this building it appears to be just-finished new construction. It also looks like the other building adjoining the Dinette (around the corner) is under construction but almost finished.

Wide Open

I note a distinct lack o' door on the truck in the center. Really interesting slice of life picture from this high angle. We can see all kinds of businesses, vehicles, people. Fun to look at.

But from where?

I found the intersection of First Street and Eighth Avenue SW, but Delano’s perch is no longer there.

John Deere

When I saw the tractor I knew I had seen that interesting rear cowl slope before. I believe that is a JD Model LA. Two cylinder gas, first built in '41 so perhaps the photo shows a dealer delivery in progress with a pit stop at the diner.

First Street and 8th avenue

Except for the building housing the Dinette, the establishments on the north side of First Street seem largely intact today.

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