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Holsum White: 1940

Holsum White: 1940

May 1940. "In the grocery store of the Casa Grande Valley Cooperative Farms. Pinal County, Arizona." Acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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No Shinola Needed

These ladies aren't afraid of a little hard work, and their shoes show it. In the years before large-scale conspicuous consumption, many folks got two pairs of shoes per year: the new pair, often bought around Easter, superseded the old pair as the "good" ones, and the old pair became everyday or "work" shoes.

By my pretty floral bonnet ...

That's a homemade sun-protection outfit right there. Sunbonnet and sun-shirt in matching fabric.

Stylin in 1940

Lady on the left seems justifiably proud of her flower print ensemble of sun bonnet and jacket.

Decked out for work

I am guessing that the head coverings and long sleeve shirts indicate these ladies are heading out for a long day's work in a family field. I am surprised they do not have their ankle high work shoes on. My grandmother, a little older than these ladies in 1940, would have been dressed very similarly for her daily chores outside the house.


Rainbo or Holsum, it's going home to the breadbox, which survived in the kitchen at least until the 1950s' Twenty Questions ("Is it bigger than a breadbox?").

The look of defeat

The last couple of images show that in 1940, an entrepreneur could have really cashed in by opening a shoeshine stand in Pinal County, Arizona.

May I say

It's time to tear the April page off the Rainbo Bread wall calendar, says the hirsute gentleman mostly out of lens range. Also, got any shoe polish for these ladies?

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