JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Cunningham Drugs: 1942

Cunningham Drugs: 1942

    UPDATE: The view here is of Douglas Street in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia!

The slide mount for this street scene -- the latest (and earliest) Kodachrome from hotrodder-shutterbug Don Cox -- is bereft of notation regarding location. Where are we? View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

(Most) Trades workers of Yore

Seemed to survive:

No hard hats
No gloves
No safety harnesses
No safety goggles
No ear protection
No high visibility jackets
No steel capped boots
No traffic and pedestrian control monitors
No pedestrian bypass barriers
No proper scaffolding
No safety inspectors
No license (usually) required to close off part of street/sidewalk
No dust or chemical spill controls

Curiously familiar

This looks very much like R Crumb in Kodachrome.

Tags + Kodachrome

These two together narrow the probable date range to 1946-47. Almost all photographic film and equipment, at least in the US where Kodachrome was made, was reserved for the "war effort". Consumers had difficulty purchasing any photographic materials until well into 1946.

When my dad came back from the war, he wanted to buy a new camera to replace the one he inherited from his father who used it during WW1. He had to wait until 1947 before the Kodak Vigilant 620 was available with the faster f/4.5 lens he wanted. Only the version with the simpler f/6.3 lens was available earlier, and that not until 1946.

[This exposure is from a batch of slides taken in the Pacific Northwest, many of them dated 1942. Don Cox was a Navy photographer's mate. One of his previous images is this Kodachrome from 1943. - Dave]

Good info. A Navy photographer's mate would have had access to materials, Kodachrome in this case, that the average civilian wouldn't have had.


The only years B.C. did not use front license plates were 1942 thru 1947, as a wartime metal conservation effort. So we can date this photo from during World War II or just after.

"For the unrelated Canadian chain,

Cunningham Drugs, based in Detroit Michigan

Cunningham Drugs was a chain of stores founded in 1889 operated primarily within the state of Michigan. I remember them well from my childhood in Detroit. They had a soda fountain and served a great hamburger. Michigan locations closed and reopened as Apex Drug in 1982 and were later sold to Perry Drug Stores. They finally sold to Walgreens in 1991. Tip of the hat to Wikipedia.

[Wrong Cunningham Drug. - Dave]

Laurel and Hardy on location

I don't recall Cunningham's signs being any color but green, maybe it is a Canadian Thing.

The sign painters' physiques, the bow in the scaffold plank, the can of paint and the pedestrian below in trench coat and hat. It is a fine line between tragedy and comedy.

Rock steady!

Is there any way to know whether Don Cox used a tripod for his photos? If not, then he could certainly hold still when he needed to.

Accident waiting to happen

Wow. Two men on a sagging scaffold with people under it.

That 'scaffolding'

The day before OSHA was created.

At the far right ...

... we see the Douglas Hotel at 1450 Douglas Street and the Victoria City Hall at the corner of Douglas Street and Pandora Avenue, an example of Second Empire-style public architecture.

Douglas Street, Victoria, BC, Canada?

Just a guess. I know United Cigar Stores LTD was a Canadian retailer, V.I.C.L., Ltd on the bus I guess to mean something like Vancouver Island Coach Line, the direction sign points to Sidney which is a town near Victoria, Douglas Street seems to be a good main drag downtown to put hotel on. St James Hotel counters my reasoning but you can’t have everything.

Douglas Street, Victoria B.C.

Cross' Marketeria was at 1310 Douglas in Victoria, BC. Here's what it looks like today:

Found it

The location is 1302 Douglas Street in Victoria, British Columbia (corner of Yates and Douglas). The spire and the some of the parapet on top of the Cunningham Drug store are gone now but otherwise the street is remarkably the same.

Looks to me like ...

Vancouver, B.C.

Victoria, British Columbia

This picture is taken at the corner of Douglas and Yates in Victoria, B.C. Google streetview shows that most of the block is still there. Names like "Copp the Shoe Man" and "Cunningham Drugs" were well known B.C. companies. I worked for Cunningham Drugs for a while as a teenager in the 1970s.

The bus in the picture is Vancouver Island Coach Lines and its route is Burnside - Marigold. And the dark blue sedan in the middle of the street looks like it might be a 1929 Auburn.

North of the Border

A quick search for that Burnside-Marigold bus brings up an archival photo from Victoria, B.C.:

Not Danforth & Pape

... but rather Douglas & Yates, in Victoria, British Columbia:

Douglas Street runs concurrent with Trans-Canada Highway 1 in Victoria. In fact, the Zero Mile Monument is not far from this intersection.

Looks like it's Victoria BC

The bus company initials - Vancouver Island Coach Lines Ltd. (15 November 1928 - 1950) and street sign pointing us to Sidney, which is where the BC Ferries now dock, tells me this is probably Victoria, BC.


Victoria Island Coach Lines LTD. The street sign Points to Sidney, BC.

Victoria, BC

I believe this to be Victoria, British Columbia - Cunningham Drugs was a well known chain in BC during this time and Burnside/Marigold on the bus is another clue - Burnside Rd, Marigold Park.

Victoria BC

Douglas and Yates in Victoria, B.C Canada!

Something tells me

This is British Columbia's capital city, beautiful Victoria.

Victoria, B.C.

Next to Cunningham Drugs is McLean's Bakery, which was located at 1304 Douglas Avenue in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Here is the Google Street View of these storefronts as they appeared in May 2018.

We're in Canada

To be more precise, we're in Victoria, British Columbia. Cunningham Drugs on the corner was located at 1300-1306 Douglas Street; the building still exists, the drugstore does not.

Victoria British Columbia

Appears to be 1300 Douglas Street.

Never ...

ever step back to admire your work.

Location for 3/21 photo

I found mention of a Cunningham Drugs in Victoria, British Columbia. There was a postcard on ebay with the words "Peter-Pan-Cunningham-Drugs-Douglas-St-Victorai-British-Columbia-postcard-1950s". The bus' destination in this photo says "Burnside Marigold" which is an intersection in Victoria.

Northwest Corner of Douglas and Yates, Victoria, B

The building is still there, minus the top of the turret:

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2023 Shorpy Inc.