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Cheers: 1937

September 1937. Craigville, Minnesota. "Saturday night in a saloon." Medium format negative by Russell Lee, Farm Security Administration. View full size.

September 1937. Craigville, Minnesota. "Saturday night in a saloon." Medium format negative by Russell Lee, Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Another image in original Cheers Theme Sequence

The original Cheers Theme Sequence has a picture of my Great-Grandfather W.T. Price II in the Horseshoe Saloon in Junction City, Kansas taken in 1905 by a photographer named Pennell!

Lumberjack Town

Some history on this town, and this saloon can be found here:

This place was evidently both a saloon and a barbershop. There are some photos here of other customers, as well as another shot of these folks.


Actually both lanterns are probably Colemans. The one over the bar is an indoor table lamp, which would have originally come with a shade, much like an electric table lamp. The other one is an outdoor type lantern. Both are missing their globes, a rather alarming fact, as the furring strips on the ceiling suggest that it is made of combustible fiberboard, a cheap and popular building material at that time.

Like most Colemans, these burned "white gas," which I believe is actually naphtha, but kerosene models were also available. More common kerosene lanterns have wicks, but pressurized ones do exist. They can be distinguished from the white gas version by the primer cup below the mantle. You fill this cup with alcohol to preheat the kerosene; otherwise, it does not vaporize properly.

BTW, "not a cough in a carload" was the slogan of Lucky Strike, not Camel. And I don't believe for a second that anyone smoked any brand for 65 years without coughing.

Camel Caravan

"Camel" was the first nationally advertised and distributed brand of American cigarettes, beginning in about 1914. My dad's first real job was with their NY Distributor, Metropolitan Tobacco, back in 1921. He smoked Camels and only Camels for the nexr 65 years, and never had so much as a cough ("Not a Cough in a Carload"). Back in my time, if I ran out of my favorite, Lucky Strike, I'm bum a Camel from him. Without any exception, they were the strongest, looseest and hottest burning American cigarette that ever existed. They would have killed me after a year! And yes, I do also remember the H and C thing from under the revenue stamp on the packages.


The beer looks great.

Alternate casting suggestions

Left to right: Rosie O'Donnell, Robert Ryan, Margaret Hamilton, Walter Huston. Whatever is transpiring, it's interesting enough for the Missus to delay her request to "light me."

Camels for sure

I used to smoke them before Pall Mall. Cigarettes didn't have filters in those days. Maybe it was the "Hits or Cracks" game that made me switch from Camels to Pall Mall. As I remember, you guessed if it was the letter H or C under the stamp. If you picked wrong you got slugged on the upper arm.

That's where I've seem him!

Thanks everyone for restoring my sanity. I saw the guy on the left and immediately thought "were have I seen him before?"

I am a child of the 80's so that's why his face was burned into my brain.

The lantern in the back corner

is a Coleman. I have one just like it. Still works very well.

White gas

Kerosene lanterns had just an open flame. These pictured were fueled by white gas and the tank had to be pressurized with a hand pump.


And I'm thinking that's a Camel cigarette pack on the bar. Recognize the "pillars" from my father's smokes.

A rose is a rose is a rose.

A barfly is a barfly is a barfly. Nice hat on the alcoholic on the extreme right, looks like he stole it from a horse. Not politically correct but my opinion.


Notice the fixture in the upper left of the photo is providing light via gas, not electricity.

[As noted below, that's a kerosene lantern. The tank holds the fuel. - Dave]

A certain dignity.

Even though these people have seen more than their fair share of hard times, there is a kind of dignity in the way the hold their drinks. Serious drinkers for sure. The guy on the right looks kind of like George Clooney. They all exhibit character with a capital C. The guy on the left is giving a major superiority pose to the guy taking a nip.

Indoor camping

Pretty rustic. The lights are kerosene lanterns.

Hands-Off policy

Interesting that the "Cheers" folks removed the fellow's hand from the lady's shoulder.


Casting? Sure ...

That's Howard Hughes, Patricia Neal, and G.W. Bailey on the right. Can't quite make out the lady on the far left, though.


Remember the opening titles to the TV show "Cheers"? It shows old photos of people at bars. One of the "Cheers" photos is THIS photo; they did a close-up of the guy on the left. And yes, I watch too much TV.

Character actors

Central Casting, eat your heart out!

Where everybody knows your name

This photo was used in the opening sequence of "Cheers." As I remember, it was cropped, to highlight the couple in the center.

Cheers to you too!

Oh my gawd it's the folks from the "Cheers!" intro. I must have seen their colorized faces a thousand times (thanks to reruns), and now I know where they're from.

It's like running into long-lost family members. Thanks Dave!


Hey! Doesn't the guy holding glass appear in the old lead-in for "Cheers"?


... it ain't....


Do you have Prince Albert in a sign?

Slim pickin's

A James M. Cain novel is written all over that woman's face.

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