JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Pills & Potions: 1942

Pills & Potions: 1942

March 1942. Washington, D.C. "Interior of a drugstore on 14th Street N.W." Medium format acetate negative by John Ferrell for the Office of War Information. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5


I really love that Art Deco "Prescriptions" sign across the top! It looks so sleek and modern.

One of my favourite songs

"You got a cute vest-pocket Mazda, which you can make glow slow and fasta" - Glow Worm, recorded by the wonderful Mills Brothers.

I still always picture a guy with a toy car in his pocket.


The large bottle on the top shelf with hoses coming out, in a wooden crate, is a carboy. I worked for my dad in his drugstore in the early '50s and one of my jobs was siphoning muriatic acid into gallon bottles from a very large carboy. Paid strict attention and never spilled any or burned myself.

Did WD-40 figure in solving the case?

     "The Case of the Rusted Room," first published in 1937 as a Clue Club Mystery, is a golden-age British whodunit by the prolific Nigel Morland (here writing under the pen-name John Donavan).

     From the dustjacket: "A curious and baffling murder mystery introduces a uniquely scientific detective: Johnny Lamb, sleuth by profession, outstanding scientist by avocation. The plot is ingenious, the characters alive, and the narrative moves briskly."

     The novel is still available on Kindle so go curl up on your overstuffed Bonaparte Traditional Sofa with an Applejack Rabbit Cocktail and put a Lucky Strike into your long stem cigarette holder and maybe time travel back to 1937.

Shoeshine Man

When I was very little I can remember polishing my "mary janes" for church ( and by that I mean my mother polished them and I "helped" ). Now I wouldn't even know where to look for shoe polish. Does it still exist??

Barely Enough Light

A blackout lamp was a regular bulb, but then painted black except for a one inch in diameter spot at the top. The bulb was used only in the downward position.

Blackout Lamps

I didn't know they sold those during the war. It's never too late to learn something.

Maybe this will get their attention!


Mazda Lamps?

Yes, indeed. Co-opted by Thomas Edison and trademarked until 1945, Mazda was originally the name of the Zoroastrian patron of light and wisdom. Perhaps it was Mazda who later brought us those fluorescent light "bulbs" that look like something dispensed by the local Dairy Queen.


Uncensored Detective Volume 1, No. 1, April 1942. Don't you just want to read the lurid details? Me, I'm wondering where the comics are.

All gummed up

I could see these three people behind the counter.

Look at the Lovelies

Betty Grable gracing the cover of Photoplay (May 1942 issue) and Penny Singleton on Hollywood (April 1942).


was a great hot cereal, and you could make a drum out of the old container. It was even better with banana flakes (not shown), which came in a resealable tin.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2022 Shorpy Inc.