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Grade B Dirties: 1942

Grade B Dirties: 1942

January 1942. "Petaluma, Sonoma County, California. Candling eggs in an egg packing plant." In contrast to the Grade AA Specials seen previously, what we have here are cartons marked "Large Grade B Dirties." Photo by Russell Lee, Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Not all eggs are equal

A "dirty" egg -- i.e. one that hasn't been washed -- will actually last longer and without refrigeration than a "clean" one. Also if you are intending to water glass your eggs to preserve them (which would have been more important in 1942 than now), you have to start with "dirty" eggs.

[What makes eggs "dirty" are the stains that washing can't remove. - Dave]

Don't complain about egg prices

Using an inflation calculator, the large Grade AA eggs at 58 cents a dozen would go for $6.22 a dozen today.

Great Eggspectations

All these egg pictures lately make me think of a vegan guy I know who actually eats a single egg about once a year, to remind himself, he says, that it’s food.

Brings back some memories

I grew up in a small town in Indiana. There was a poulterer in town, and we kids would go there with our mother. They had an egg sorting booth completely covered in canvas to keep out the light. If they were sorting eggs we kids would pull aside the canvas and go into the booth, where one of the owner's teenage daughters would be candling the eggs just like the photo above. She was real nice and showed us how to candle the eggs.

You could also go in to the back room and watch them kill and clean chickens. I don't suppose they let kids do that anymore.

Tough love

"Look, this is gonna hurt me more than it's gonna hurt you!"


Russell Lee went all out here. The hidden key light shows up her concentration and perfect complexion, all while making it look like the glow from the candling light.
In reality, that is hidden inside the cylinder with the small hole in the side.

Grade B Dirties

Newspaper ad from 1955:

Farm market report from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (1950):

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