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Beaver Falls: 1941

Beaver Falls: 1941

January 1941. "Main street in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on a Saturday afternoon." Medium format acetate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Two buildings on the left

The first two buildings on the left are still standing. The first is an apartment building and the one behind it (with the tile roof) stores classic autos. The building with the tile roof was a Buick dealership for many years and features an elevator to carry automobiles from different floors.

War looms

On the margin.

Looking the Wrong Way?

Looks to me like the guy crossing toward the camera is walking against a red light. Note the turning car on the left. Better look the other way too.


Tex Ritter in "Take me Back to Oklahoma" download available at Or on YouTube if you don't want to download.

Home to a famous NFL Hall of Famer

Several years after this photo, you may have seen a young Joe Willie Namath running these streets.

You are My Sunshine

An advertising point for "Take Me Back to Oklahoma" (along with his horse 'White Flash') was Tex Ritter singing "You Are My Sunshine". The song was just over a year old when the movie was released, first recorded by the Pine Ridge Boys in August 1939. Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell recorded it in January 1940 and copyrighted it (though there was later controversy over who actually wrote it). Tex Ritter beat him onscreen by four months, but Gene Autry's version in 1941's "Back in the Saddle Again" became the popular one.

"You Are My Sunshine" is one of four state songs of Louisiana. Jimmie Davis was the state's governor in the 1960s; his successor vetoed the designation because Louisiana isn't mentioned in the song, so there was a compromise.

Also on the Regent's double bill: "Margie" from 1940, a forgotten comedy not to be confused with the 1946 "Margie," which was a big hit.

Changes in BF

The Regent closed and then reopened as the Cinema. The theater was destroyed by fire in the early 1980s. I'm not sure when the Montgomery Ward's was taken down, much more recently. I still use items that I bought there!

The Regent is gone

This is the view today, looking north up 7th Ave from 13th Street. The Regent and much of the retail on the right side of 7th Ave is no more. In the Google Street View you can see that directly across the street was and still is a Carnegie Free Library.

Ford Tudor

Dead center is another of the practically ubiquitous 1938-39 Fords. It seems almost every early forties street scene has one of these in it somewhere. This one is a Tudor Sedan.

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