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Dakota Station: 1940

Dakota Station: 1940

November 1940. "Schulstad boys listening to radio. Aberdeen, South Dakota." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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1934 Sparton Radio

1934 Sparton brand radio made by the Sparks-Withington Company from Jackson, Michigan.


The painting (a reproduction of course) above the radio is by Thomas Lawrence, and is a painting of the 11 year old Sarah Goodwin Barrett Moulton (1783-1795), aka "Pinkie". She was the aunt of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

What a difference three years make

My wife, who is only three years older than me, has trouble believing that people actually sat and watched the radio. In 1950 I was five, and I remember sitting in front of the radio with my sisters, eating popcorn and "watching" Baby Spooks, Beulah, the Lone Ranger, and lots more. We really saw the programs in our minds. By the time she grew old enough to remember home entertainment her family had a television, and she only thinks of radio in terms of music.

Our radio was in the corner like that and there was an ashtray and magazine rack just like in the picture. I probably had holes in my shoes too.


Nice to see that the ubiquitous slouching in a chair has remained unchanged. These kids did it, I did it, and now my daughter does it.

And the back-then-popular picture

... by Gainsborough on the wall. I can't tell you how many of those pictures I've seen in antique shops over the years.

Staton's Station

All through my childhood, I misread/misheard this as the name of the great jazz vocalist Dakota Staton. I think I assumed she took her name from a railroad stop.

Entertainment Center

There's not only a radio but there's a magazine rack, and temperature and humidity.

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