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Double Duty: 1942

Double Duty: 1942

April 1942. "Wisdom, Beaverhead County, Montana. Accommodations at the Wisdom Hotel." Acetate negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Best title ever?

Certainly right up there!!

Additionally, it looks like the wall covering was used once or twice as emergency TP -- that couldn't have been pleasant.

Deluxe Outhouse

Travel through British Columbia and you will find that most Rest Stops on the highways feature modern concrete pit toilets and a few picnic tables. Regional parks in the Vancouver area also have outhouses; there is one just 1 km. from where I live.

On Lopez Island in Washington State there is this amazing pit toilet. From the outside it is a plain wood building, but when you open the door you are greeted with a spotless interior - including fresh lilacs.

Slick paper?

That's rough.


The seat appears smooth so splinters may not be an issue but watch out for those gaps in the board. They are just waiting to pinch someone.

Two cowpunchers walked into a bar...

On April 22, 1942, John Vachon wrote from Wisdom to his wife:

"Last night 2 soused cowpunchers had a real slugging knocking down rolling on the floor fight in the joint next door ... After a few minutes I ran and got my camera, and when I came back they were buying each other drinks and lighting cigarettes. They wouldn't fight again for the camera."

From the book, "John Vachon's America."

Re: Ya gotta love the Google Books search engine

Looks like they kept the Sears catalog to use for actually buying things and the Monkey Wards catalog for ... oh well.

No No, not the glossy pages

When I was a kid we were the only ones with a septic tank and flush toilet. My great-grandparents who lived behind us and my grandfather across the road had outhouses and used old telephone directories and the soft pages from Sears and Roebuck catalogs. When those were gone then the misery of the glossy pages began.

Thank Goodness

For the camera angle ... I've used facilities like this in my younger days, and the combination of visual and olfactory assaults were a bit much.

No thanks!

A hotel with an outhouse? And a shared outhouse at that? Umm ... maybe I don't want a time travel machine.

Ya gotta love the Google Books search engine

Issue 134 of the Montgomery Ward catalog (1941), Page 412.

It's a long, long way to necessary

Years ago I learned a German word. It is one of those complex German words that has a nuanced meaning involving a stressful situation, the distance from point A to point B and a toilet. Fahrfumpoopen.

Just a word from an experienced user. While waiting to finish, tear out a generous number of catalog pages and give them a good rubbing up. Much more satisfying than straight from the book.

Two things rarely seen these days

Catalogs and outhouses. Sears stopped producing its general catalog in 1993.

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