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Fresh Direct: 1942

Fresh Direct: 1942

October 1942. "I'll carry mine. -- Delivery vans, 1942 style, line up outside a Greenbelt, Maryland, grocery store awaiting customers. Tire scarcity and gasoline rationing have placed such service at a premium, and these youngsters who are using their express wagons to carry home Mrs. America's purchases are doing their country a real service." Medium format nitrate negative by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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The City

The same market, with wagons awaitin', was shown a the tail end of Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke's landmark 1939 documentary "The City".

Produced for the New York World's Fair of that year, as part of the City Of Tomorrow exhibit, it's three distinct parts show rural early American life, followed by poorly planned urban mid 20th century cities, and finally to the above mentioned city of Greenbelt Maryland, a planned New Deal community built by the federal government.

With a score by Aaron Copland, and story by Pare Lorentz, its chock full of haunting images (particulary those of inner city early industrial squalor) that any Shorpyite would like.

All under the watchful eyes of the Maryland Sheriff

That would be the young man on the far right. The 4 year old turned lawman.


Not a pair of sneakers (trainers) in the bunch. All leather shoes.

Growing up in the late 1940's and early 50's, my mother believed that wearing sneakers would ruin my feet (somehow).

Co-Op Floating Soap

4 bars for 19 cents, I'll take some ! I don't want the sinking kind.

The puzzle of the EXTRA SHADOW

All the others are very close to the shoes or wagons. An aside or two - - - I was 10 at this time, too small to hire and a bit too large to be passenger and lookout for the sloppy overloaded bags, they'll need a few stops along the way to refill the wagon as those hard wheels and no suspension are not gonna be fun - - -

Future truck drivers?

Interesting little men. I like the one sleeping with a smile, and the others discussing serious matters of their world. Looks as though the older one in front loading the bags will be hauling a little brother along too!

Bet they earn a quarter a trip ... maybe an apple to munch as well.

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