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Runt's Pool Parlor: 1939

Runt's Pool Parlor: 1939

November 1939. "Runt's pool parlor with poster advertising Tobacco Ball in window. Zebulon, Wake County, North Carolina." Acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.


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Dental records

There's a reflection in the window of a sign for Dr. Massey, Dentist. He appears to have had a solo practice until his niece Zyba Massey joined him in 1954, after becoming the first female to graduate from the UNC dental school.

Check the 7up sign

now count the bubbles.

Pine State Ice Cream

What was being advertised by that 'Pine State' sign reflected in the window?

Eureka! Pine State Ice Cream from the Pine State Creamery in Raleigh. The brand is gone, but the building, built in 1928, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

(The pine is the official state tree of North Carolina, but Maine is officially the Pine Tree State.)


"Runt" was probably about 6-foot-8 and weighed about 350 pounds. They had to have the double doors on the front so he could get in and out of the place.

Window lettering

When I was a young sign painter, soft drink companies and breweries had healthy budgets for what is now called "point of purchase" advertising. Back then this was called "privilege panels". The beverage companies supplied the preprinted signs which usually had a blank panel to personalize the store.

Window valences were water decals applied to the interior of the glass.

If the store or tavern moved a lot of product, the salesman may allot extra for some custom lettering (Runts Pool Parlor), but not always.

If your company was able to service an account like this, you were assured of steady, although not very profitable work. As a young apprentice I was often given these jobs. Perfect environment to learn layout and speed

And mosquitoes too

Judging from the size of the mesh on the screen door they must have pretty big flies in North Carolina.

Hope it was a 3 window coupe!

The Tobacco Ball signage certainly drew my attention. The prospect of winning a free FORD V8 would undoubtedly have convinced me to attend.

Back Door Delivery

Shiny clean rear of 1937 or '38 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery reflected in window.
I am confused by the cigarette advertising slogan on the vehicle door. Is it on the car or reflected from somewhere?

[Yes. - Dave]

Any Boob

... can take and shove a ball in a pocket. And they call that sloth.
The first big step on the road to the depths of degradation.

I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon, then beer from a bottle.
And the next thing you know, your son is playin' for money in a pinch-back suit.

With a capital T and that rhymes with P

Trouble right here in River City ...

Possible Location

Alias George E Stone

Looks like the sort of place Boston Blackie might wander into.

Not a pool hall anymore

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