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Modern Beauty: 1942

Modern Beauty: 1942

April 1942. "Missoula, Montana. Tourist apartments." The "Strictly Modern" Beauty Ress Court. Acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Bed frames and carports

It was common to get a room and for a fee, add on an extra twin bed for the kiddies (or maybe Aunt Edna).

The carports seemed to me to be mainly a luxury feature they could tout on billboards.

I remember both things from our family vacations as a tyke.


To everything davidk said (I pondered for several minutes on the characters after the word MODERN), but one final question (tongue firmly in cheek): Why the bedsprings at the back of two of the garages (and, for all I know, the third one)? Surely too cold to sleep out there in a Montana winter -- especially without a mattress and at least one blanket.

Modern mysteries

Some of the things in this picture I understand, others I don’t. Stuff I get: The benches under the windows are for sitting outside your motel room, to observe and smoke and ponder. The gravel courtyard is for making that crunchy sound under the car tires. The wooden screen door is for the slamming-shut sound. But why waste good interior space for a carport? Motel parking is always outdoors – you pull up in front of your door, there’s no garage. And why so many arched pass-throughs to the other side – one per room? And what is the function of those punctuation marks after the word Modern? I am content to stare at this image with passive enjoyment (I find it calming), but then these issues disturb the peace and make me begin to wonder why this, why that.

[Carports: Montana winters. - Dave]

Dave: I come from Manitoba winters where carports aren’t a thing – you need a garage with a garage door or you park outside.

[These are garages without doors. And not in Manitoba, either. - Dave]

Just my point: if you want a garage for the winter part of car ownership, a carport won’t do in places like this. If the garage doesn’t have a door, you’ll be doing a lot of wind-related shoveling, whether in Montana or Manitoba.

JennyPennifer: I figure those bedsprings are to keep the front bumper of the car away from the wall.

For sure

Beautiful photograph of an ugly building.


My idea of beauty lies elsewhere.

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