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The Cat's Pajamas: 1940

The Cat's Pajamas: 1940

April 1940. A hotel room in Dubuque is the setting for this untitled self-portrait of photographer John Vachon. Medium format acetate negative. View full size.


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It IS a phone charger

And that's a vape pen on the stack of books.

Feeling foggy in Dubuque

In a letter to his wife on April 18, 1940, Vachon complained, "Changing film is a difficult problem, no closets, no light proof toilets. Fear I fogged some under the bed clothes this afternoon."

Source: John Vachon's America, Photographs and Letters from the Depression to World War (Edited, with Introductory Texts, by Miles Orvell)

Photographer for hire

Hotel rooms a specialty.


So that’s what photographers do when they sleep-walk.

Phone Charger?

My vote is for timed shutter release, or similar contraption.

Not a phone charger for sure.

Could it be what attaches to the flash from the camera?

I want a big one

That suitcase is worthy of George Bailey, when he dreamed of hopping aboard a tramp steamer and seeing the world.

Phone charger?

How about a light meter?

[On the right, yes, but the cord in question is over on the left. - Dave]

One Heck of a Suitcase

Looks like he doesn't believe in traveling light, and we don't even see his photo gear.

re: Cell Phone Charger

It's a little difficult to tell because it's out of the picture's depth of field, but my guess is that the wire shaped contraption on the dresser is a shutter bulb, or at least part of one.

Belt and suspenders.

Can't be too careful!

Cell Phone Charger

It's not, but then again, what is it?

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