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Portugrocer: 1942

April 1942. "Provincetown, Massachusetts. Portuguese grocer." 4x5 inch acetate negative by John Collier for the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Information. View full size.

April 1942. "Provincetown, Massachusetts. Portuguese grocer." 4x5 inch acetate negative by John Collier for the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Information. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5


Fascinating array of foodstuffs.
Would love to be able to taste what that bread was like.
Not to mention some delicious cakes with that presumably rich and aromatic coffee.

Top Shelf Detergents

They were called soap operas for a reason

Rinso ... Rinso white, Rinso bright and Solium, the sunlight ingredient

Duz ... It’s the soap in Duz that does it

Chipso ... "Just back from my honeymoon … Gray hair and a young heart. Because Chipso gets underwear so white.”

Soapine ... "For washing and cleaning everything, no matter what -- Soapine works quicker, easier, cheaper and better than soap or anything else." The original (19th century) made from whale blubber.

Super Suds ... struck out

Lux ... The Thompson agency then began a campaign in 1928 to get endorsements from Hollywood actresses, by sending 425 actresses cases of Lux Soap. It received 414 endorsements in return, leading them to claim that 9 out of 10 stars in Hollywood use Lux Soap.

Ivory Flakes ... 1937 Ivory Flakes Laundry Soap "Lazy Twin Misses Out On Party!" Cartoon (Print Ad)

Fels-Naptha ... It originally included the ingredient naphtha, effective for cleaning laundry and urushiol, an oil contained in poison ivy. Naphtha was later removed as a cancer risk.

Oxydol ... In the 1930s, Oxydol was the sponsor of the Ma Perkins radio show, considered the first soap opera; as such, Oxydol sponsorship put the "soap" in "soap opera".

Klek ... White Beads of Soap (Seems to exist only on boxes sold on eBay)

[As you note, they're soaps. Strictly speaking, none of those are detergents. - Dave]

Stacking Artiste

Very orderly shelves considering the cans are of the older three-piece design with seamed tops and bottoms which must be closely aligned to sit atop one another without getting all cattywampus, as with the third row of pop corn cans behind the woman's head (one of the few exceptions.)

I hope contemporary stock clerks appreaciate the superior self indexing/interlocking/nesting qualities of modern two-piece steel cans when stacking them (probably not), plus they also make straightening up after an earthquake much easier, although that probably wasn't a major concern in Ptown, then or now.

I'm Puzzled

I'm often puzzled as to why these Shorpy images aren't offered as 1000 piece to 5000 piece jigsaw puzzles.

I'd love to spend a weekend piecing together this grocery store image and the now classic Christmas office party. How wonderful it would be to produce quality images into challenging puzzles worth spending time upon.

Please, consider branching out into collectible puzzles.

What the!

Would love to know the story behind the painted head (lobster claw?) on the top of the cabinet behind the counter!

Better Hurry!

You won't have much longer to buy that coffee or beef, as WWII rationing begins soon!

What's that effigy

hanging above the mirror?

[It's a lobster claw. - Dave]

Your Portugrocer is ...

or was Ernest Carreiro Sr., per the Liz's Cafe/Anybody's Bar website.

Ernie died in 1961, and his son, Ernie Jr., just last year. According to Ernie Jr.'s obituary, he and his dad turned Anybody's Market into Tip-for-Tops'n Restaurant sometime in the early '50s. Those Carreiros really had a way with words.

Weigh To Go Ohio

While I am very familiar with Toledo scales (from Ohio and now headquartered not far from me), I had never heard of Dayton scales (also from Ohio).

Lifebuoy, helll!

It's the taste of Fels-Naphtha that I remember!

What do you have that won't give me gas?

With that white jacket and hat, the clerk looks like a service station attendant.

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