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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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Carlton's Pharmacy: 1940

Carlton's Pharmacy: 1940

November 1940. "Boomtown store near Shasta Dam construction site, Shasta County, California." Medium format negative by Russell Lee. View full size.

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More Than 30 Comics!

Oh, how I long for those days. At two comics per page, that was probably a 16-page section. (When I was in high school I remember hearing a rumor that the Denver Post Comic Section was so huge you could subscribe to it alone!) Today the comics are barely an afterthought - the strips are smaller and you're lucky if you get 4 pages on Sunday. Breaks my heart.

The news stands in color

And thanks to Vintagetvs, I missed the Movie Life issue.

Miss Popularity

Amongst other stars:

Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in Screen Romances 12/40.
Linda Darnell in Silver Screen 12/40.
Linda Darnell (again) in Movie Mirror 12/40.
Paulette Goddard on set, Motion Picture 12/40.
Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell (yet again) “Mark of Zorro” in Screenland 12/40.

17-year-old Linda wins the popularity poll, and is at the peak of her stardom.

Life on Mars with Chocolate

If man ever does reach the point of living on Mars, there will, no doubt, be a retro Rexall Drug Store there selling Whitman's Samplers.

But by that time there will probably only be one piece of candy per level in the box. I bought a box recently and was disappointed to find maybe eight pieces on each of the two levels, instead of the filled box assortment of yesteryear.

Maybe not so much silver screen

but we do have Russell Sambrook's painting "Catch the Turkey" on the cover of Liberty's November 23rd issue, "Springer Spaniel" by W.W. Calvert on the Saturday Evening Post of the 16th, and a slightly jumping-the-gun December 1940 issue of McCall's, with the beginning of a four-part serial "The Beautiful Southwick Girls" by Margaret Culkin Banning, subtitled "a story of how much — and how little — men think of beautiful women." (Banning was a well-known women's rights activist as well as a hot-selling author.)

What's hanging up top?

On the peak of the roof there is a device I can't identify. It's restrained by a guy wire on each side. Any guesses?

[A neon "Rexall" sign. - Dave]

Read All About It

It looks like the major headline of the day is about Britain's attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, which occurred on the night of November 11-12, 1940.

Extra! Extra!

As you can see, the San Francisco Chronicle and the rival Examiner are keeping a certain wary but respectful distance between one another at opposite ends of the porch. No one make any sudden moves.

Safely distant

The bombing of Italy's fleet at Taranto must have made for interesting reading when we were still safely thousands of miles and more than a year removed from the war.

Battle of Taranto

A precursor to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor -- the British Royal Navy used carrier-based torpedo bombers to attack Italian Navy vessels in the port at Taranto on the night of 11/12 November 1940.

What's a girl to do

Oh dear. To the left of the door we have a full-length view of a larger lass clad only in her smalls, standing on a scale, urged to take diet supplements ... early body shaming? To the right we're treated to a closeup of a gorgeous gal looking longingly at a Whitman's Sampler, the box being proffered by the hand of a gallant gentleman. Such conflict. Keep the scale and the vitamins; I'll take the chocolates.

Alka Seltzer Thermometer

As a collector of advertising thermometers, I have never seen a tin Alka-Seltzer. Several PAM type with Speedy very collectible. Tin nice shape bulb works no nail hole damage. That's a real gem there. Wish I had it.

Fresh Magazines

That's the December 1940 issue of Movie Life Magazine top left of the rack, with Claudette Colbert and Ray Milland on the cover.

Most likely promoting their 1941 Comedy, Skylark.


Thank you, Whitman's chocolate, for refusing to bow to pressure about modern design and the need to "rebrand." I recognize your box across time, and hope that it had good chocolates within.

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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