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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Knotty Kitchen: 1941

Knotty Kitchen: 1941

September 1941. Hermiston, Oregon. "Housing for workmen at the Umatilla ordnance depot discloses its temporary nature by the unfinished interior." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

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Deftly Labeled

The trusty ol' Shorpy Slop Bucket - with a direct gravity feed from the sink!

That trunk was made for traveling

A flat-top trunk with hardware identical to the one in this photo came out of my grandmother's house. It measures 23" high x 34" wide x 31" deep. Ours had spent most of its life in a closet and cleaned up very nice. I even cleaned the hardware to a rustic luster, then had a glass top made so it could be functional. My great uncle probably used when he went back East on business. On the bottom corners are small, cylinder-shaped rollers, so it rolls but doesn't spin around. There is a leather handle at each end and each handle is stamped with a number for easy identification. My stamp is 34 496.

Her face is her fortune

What a dollbaby is that wee girl holding the dishes. I reckon she'd had ample experience washing all those neatly stacked plates and cups and bowls and putting them back (with the help of a stepstool) just the way Mama wanted them on the crude and cramped but sturdy shelves. Now though, her interest seems to be in serving some hot coffee that I hope is just off camera. In other news, I wish I had the massive trunk that you can see the corner of in the far left side of the photo. It seems to be serving as a surface for a cooktop, but what is IN it?

Unseen in the Photo

Is the 13 year old son who has just finished hanging the towel back on the towel bar.

Just add water

That's a low maintenance sink. Drain never clogs and the water pipes never leak.

Sparse

but with a pretty decent new fridge.

Bring back the Taster!

In 2016, Hills Bros. reviewed its "packaging strategy". As a result the "Taster", iconic for a century and visible on the can in Lee's photo, got cancelled.

According to the company, the Taster "had been diluted". Among other things, his long yellow robe was perceived as being pajamas. (One suspects the main problem was the turban.) Furthermore, "the Taster had no equity [?] and was polarizing to the female audience."

As a result of this no doubt very expensive study, nothing of the Hills Bros. image was retained beyond "the color red and a large brandmark impression".

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