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Cupboard-Cornered: 1941

Cupboard-Cornered: 1941

August 1941. "One of the children of Ernest Johnson, FSA client. Vernon, Vermont." Medium format negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Ski Boy

That sweet little item on the top shelf is a Ski Boy tin litho windup toy made by Chein in the 1940s. Thought at first the key was missing but that might be it in the back.


This obviously impecunious young fellow appears to reside in what was once a very tony home, to judge from the cabinetry.

Full many a mansion ends its days chopped up into small apartments for those of little income. This photo may have been taken in what was once an impressive dining room.

According to Irene E. Johnson in the 1940 Census

His name is Frank.

35 cents and 5 Superman gum wrappers

I'll bet this sweatshirt was very popular with young master Johnson as well as the envy of his friends.

Not a neatnik

Looks as though Mrs. Johnson started at the top of this corner unit with a sincere intention to neatly display her knick knacks, but lost interest exponentially as she descended the shelves. The bottom shelf is a catch-all ... but I covet that old volume of Down The River Road.

Took me a while

To identify the 1941 model MagLite on the bottom shelf.

Niches for Dishes

That cabinet is identical to the ones my wife and I saw at Smith's Fort Plantation ( circa 1761 (in the linked article, those are the arched cupboards with butterfly shelving that are mentioned).

We saw them on Guy Fawkes day 2018, and they had cleaned up nicely back to their original splendor, but I imagine they looked about like this, or even worse, at the time this photo was taken. That style was, according to the guide, very important in early to late 18th century houses. Based on that, someone in Vernon Vermont may be able to identify the actual house (it would probably have been built during the 18th century, been a working farm house for a middle class farmer who could afford niceties, but didn't often use them). These cabinets were design to show off the fine China and porcelain pieces, while hiding the daily usage plates underneath. At the same time, they would be able to be secured, so that the fine dishes could be moved into the bottom and locked if the family would not be home.

Down the River Road

The book is from 1938, so was relatively new at the time.

Frank W. Johnson

Pretty sure this is him.

August 3, 1929 - September 19, 2011
Born in Vernon, VT
Resided in Vernon,

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