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Boomtown Beds: 1942

Boomtown Beds: 1942

February 1942. Newton County, Missouri. "Boom area on U.S. Highway #71 around Camp Crowder. Housing for construction workers." Acetate negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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Bargain Hats!

Those kids may have scored those war-surplus hats or caps for a buck from comic-book ads! This ad is from the February 1948 issue of Whiz Comics.

Beds $2

This is the office, not a bunkhouse. And the righthand corner is resting on the ground.

Those hats

It's amazing how many kid wore those hats back then. There's a mid-'40s bit of film of the elementary school where my kids went and ten kids on the playground were wearing leather aviator hats like that one.

Camp Crowder

Mort Walker and Jean Shepherd were stationed there, as was Rob Petrie (aka Dick Van Dyke).

Beetle Bailey

Camp Crowder was Mort Walker's inspiration for the fictional Camp Swampy depicted in the Beetle Bailey comic strip. Walker was stationed at Crowder while in the Army years earlier.

Something askew

Dang, they weren't even close when they measured the logs for the building's foundation. Of course it is possible that Mr Vachon tilted his camera 15 degrees AND had the kid lean 15 degrees while maintaining a perfectly natural pose, but that seems a little unlikely. I bet those 2 dollar beds are challenging to stay comfortable in, and that more than one tenant fell while trying to get up in the morning!

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