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Curve Inn: 1942

Curve Inn: 1942

February 1942. "Union County, Missouri. Roadhouse." Fill 'er up with Hyde Park! Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Work of Art

Beautifully photographed and use of light, expertly exposed and developed to capture all that dark detail in the background. The brooding, stormy sky against the white building creates sublime poetry.

Rectilinear irony

The highway might curve here, but the only curvilinear objects in the scene aside from three of the letters painted on the building are the pump globes and the beer sign. The edifice itself is aggressively dedicated to sharp corners.


Once brewed in Omaha, it was a cheap beer to purchase by the case of returnable bottles in Nebraska. We drank a lot of it in college, and dubbed it Fallflat, just because we thought it was a cool name with an innuendo. But both Falstaff and Storz Triumph fit our low end beer budgets very well then.

Curbside suds

It's a kind of a dream, really ... a tall glass pump that dispenses beer. None for the driver, of course.

What a great film noir setting

Can't you just see Mitchum and Sterling Hayden talking over a deal at the bar when Lizabeth Scott bangs open the screen door and sashays past?

Union County

Union is the county seat of Franklin County, Missouri. I haven't found evidence of the existence of a Union County in Missouri.

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