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Teeth Without Plates: 1905

Teeth Without Plates: 1905

Detroit circa 1905. "Woodward Avenue north from Jefferson." A phantasmagoria of signage advertising vaudeville, soap, cigars and the mandatory Painless Dental Parlors (your choice of Laughing Gas or "Vitalized Air"). 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


On Shorpy:
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Just What We Needed

According to Vice President Thomas Marshall (Woodrow Wilson's), the Ben-Hur cigar was "just what America needed," as long as it was "really good."

O Canada

Acreage for you, FREE!

And there he is

sitting next to the mailbox (at left) previously seen here, streetcar switch iron at the ready.

Buchu gin

You learn something new every day, even at my age.

Road house

One might wonder - this one, anyway - if that shed-like building straddling the curb about a block down isn't for construction of the Hotel Pontchartrain (if so the picture would seem to date from 1906, as that's when building began).


Some rookie named Cobb playing at Bennett Park.

Ben-Hur Cigars

Into the 20th century, cigar brand names were an index of celebrity and popular culture. Wikipedia has a historical list, but it doesn't include 'Ben-Hur', a Detroit brand.

Hardly anything was better-known than 'Ben-Hur'. It started as a novel published in 1880 by Civil War general Lew Wallace (who died about the time this Shorpy photo was taken). Its mixture of Biblical piety and sand-and-sandals adventure made it the best-selling novel in American history, overtaking 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' and not supplanted until 'Gone With the Wind'.

With movies becoming dominant brand names, there have been five versions of 'Ben-Hur' starting in 1907. Rudolph Valentino's and Charlton Heston's versions (1925 and 1959) were huge hits. The 2016 version was a flop.

If I have a choice

I'll pass on the laughing gas or vitalized air but I wouldn't mind a shot of that Caravan Old Special Reserve Whiskey.

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