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Unpacked: 1939

Unpacked: 1939

June 1939. "Hotel bedroom. Elkins, West Virginia." The Bare Bulb Arms hopes you enjoy your stay in the Edward Hopper Suite. Acetate negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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I lived there from 1967 to 1972. Great little town, and home to the annual Mountain State Forest Festival which was held earlier this month (October).

Whose Room?

Considering the intimate nature of the image, wonder if Mr. Vachon is the one doing the unpacking.

We'll leave a light on for you.

Probably was a welcome sight after a day of driving the roads back then.
No TV but if you're lucky you can watch the bedbugs and cockroaches fight.

Speaking of aromas

It was not entirely unknown for men of a certain height to use the sink for other purposes, especially on cold nights when a trek down the hall seemed particularly daunting.

Vachon knew what he was doing

Must be another bulb on the room's ceiling -- or maybe it's a nice combination of flash and available light.

Welcome to the Hotel Noir

Free electric lighting and hand towels included in room rate. Modern water closet facilities conveniently located on every floor! Hotel bath and wash room available (25¢).


Edward Hopper Suite!! I'm rolling around on the carpet. Love this place!

The Name should be Bare Bones Inn

What do you want to bet that is only one room and every room in the inn is like that. This was before the days of luxury suites we have now.

Just comforting

I know the hotel may have been something of a "flophouse", and you might have been able to hear your neighbors and smell every cigarette ever smoked in the hotel, but there is something comforting about those old rooms with wallpaper, decent millwork around the windows and doors, and a very basic bed. Takes me back to many happy days in the homes of my grandparents.

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