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Ninety-Nine Bottles: 1940

March 1940. "Skiers from Boston relaxing in lodge at North Conway, New Hampshire." Medium format negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.

March 1940. "Skiers from Boston relaxing in lodge at North Conway, New Hampshire." Medium format negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.


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A veteran of many apres-ski says,

Where's the Raclette. No true after ski party was complete without melted cheese and mulled wine. Although in the 70's the free cigarette girl was De-rigueur. Yes I miss smoking, I wish it wasn't so poisonous and outright deadly.

Ahh - Memories

Interesting to see the comments.
Apres Ski was the best time of the day.
I have fond memories of that era, leading up to the apex of skiing - the 60s.
It's all been "downhill" from then.

One Generation Off

While some members of this particular generation became éminences grises of the Beat Generation, the latter was mainly made up of their kids.

Coming Attractions

My, what a prelude to the Beat Generation. Had there not been such a major upheaval the next year one wonders how history would have gone with this group.

Call for Philip Morris!

Nice jacket, guitar boy!

Calling L.L. Bean

Hmm, what these people need are heavy wool socks stitched to leather soles. Sounds like a business opportunity.

On the mantel

Marion's flashbulbs?

No flatscreen

The same scene now would probably see everyone huddled around the TV. People back then were so much better at entertaining themselves.


That's a mighty large tin!

An Austrian jacket

The Trapp Family Singers' influenece shows here. The Trapp Family had been performing successfully since 1935 (when Von Trapp had lost all his money in a bank failure.) Then they had fled Austria in 1938. Later that year, on December 10, they had debuted to much sensation at Town Hall in New York City.

Any good East Coast folk-singing college kid would have known about, and probably seen, them in 1940.

North Country

In 1940, these young Bostonians most likely traveled to North Conway by train, leaving North Station, under the old Boston Garden, proceeding up through Dover, New Hampshire and arriving at the 19th century Victorian railroad station in North Conway, which today serves as the station for the Conway Scenic Railway. I'm guessing it was about a 5 hour train ride, with all the stops along the way. Maybe longer. Virtually no one would have driven, especially during winter, on an endless series of two-lane roads running through the center of every little town and village between the northern suburbs of Boston and the White Mountains. North Conway, which today is a quick 2 1/2 hour drive from Boston, and lined from end-to-end with outlet stores, must have seemed very remote and romantic back in those days, with a sense of "place" that is hard to replicate today.

Holiday Inn

The guy on the stairs could easily be Bing Crosby.


The guitar player's jacket is German garb. Gray wool with green trim. The buttons are made from stag horns cut into rounds.

On top of Old Hokey

Given the style of that sport coat, It looks like a young Georg Von Trapp singing "Edelweiss" to the kindern.

The electrical switch on the stairs looks like a generic light switch to me.

That's no buzzer

on the stairway. That's the old-fashioned sort of light switch my grandpa had in his farmhouse. Ballantine had the short form of the Olympic symbol. The three rings are Purity, Body, Flavor.

Feet Up

Now that's what you call a REAL pair of ski boots.

Balentine Beer

A little bit of searching reveals that the group is chugging on some Balentine's Ballantine's. Good times, good friends.

G chord

on the Kay guitar -- college kids in a rustic lodge with beer and smokes ... where are the grownups?

OMG, this is soo boring!

Is what that young lady seems to be saying. It looks like her boyfriend (?) is having a good time though.

Frank's Boots

Interesting to see the period ski boots being worn as "relaxing" wear. I see a sheepskin slipper on the right, same style I am wearing as I type this note! Maybe some things don't change.

Ski Duds

That is a very snazzy jacket the guitar player is wearing.

More like...

99 cans of Ballantine's Ale!


Is that some sort of a doorbell or buzzer on the stairway to wake up the sleepy skiers in the morning?

The Calm Before

Enjoy it while you can kids. Your world is about to change forever.

I'd buy this album

Or I would have done, before the days of iTunes

Scene from "Father Ted"

I thought I was looking at Father Noel Furlong's Youth Group for a moment there! They look about as cheerful, too.

A churchkey!

A church key! Half my beer for a churchkey!

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