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Bennie's Grocery: 1939

Bennie's Grocery: 1939

June 1939. "Negro grocery store. Sylvania Savannah, Georgia." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Lard, salt, ribs, and gasoline,too!

Did they have a rewards program?

Sylvania or Savannah?

For various reasons, I think this is mislabeled as Sylvania and should say Savannah. There is no Gwinnett Street in Sylvania, though there is one in Savannah. (Although Sylvania could have renamed or buried their Gwinnett Street under a highway in the past 80 years.) This enterprise looks entirely too big for a very small farm town (pop. about 1,100 African-Americans in 1940) and more like something that would exist in a city with about 50,000 African-Americans like Savannah.

Derst Bakery is in Savannah. Would they have shipped bread 60 miles to a small town in 1939?

The address puts it square in the segregated west side of Savannah, although this particular block would have been knocked down to build a housing project and/or the interstate sometime between 1945-63.

Finally, it just looks like Savannah to me. Small Georgia farm towns look like one thing, and Savannah architecture looks like another.

Gas and other prices!

While all of these posted prices seem unbelievable today, it's kind of scary that I remember buying gas in the early-mid 1960's AT THE SAME 17 cents per gallon!

Granted that was during another scenario we'll likely never see again, local "gas wars" ...

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