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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • HIS MASK KEEPS HIM ON THE JOB
 

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Four O'Clock Shadow: 1941

Four O'Clock Shadow: 1941

March 1941. "Newport News, Virginia. Shipyard employees getting out at 4 p.m." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon. View full size.

 

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In one hour

these men will be removing the dreaded five o'clock shadow. (Was it the Gillette Blue Blades jingle that I can't get out of my head?)

Those leaping Rams on their hoods

Identify two Dodges, the one on the left practically new from 1940 and the one on the right from the mid-'30s with its still fabric roof center. The middle car is just a Chevrolet.

Made this crossing many times

I used to work NNSYDDC back in 1985-'87 and made this crossing many times, but the trolley was long gone by then. I'm sure with WWII right around the corner, that rush crowd would have been like human soup.

[WW2 and the U.S. Government's Emergency Shipbuilding Program were already well underway by March 1941, which is why John Vachon was assigned to take these photos. - Dave]

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