[“The American Worker.” Photograph by Edward Clark. No location or date. From the Life Photo Archive. Click for a much larger view.]
I am slightly bonkers over the mid-century material culture in this photograph. The cigarette brands: Camel, Lucky Strike, Kool, Old Gold, Chesterfield, Philip Morris Commander, Cavalier, Pall Mall, Chesterfield, Herbert Tareyton, Raleigh (filter and non-filter), Old Gold, Philip Morris Commander, Winston, and Tareyton (filter). Beneath the cigarettes, Velvet, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Prince Albert pipe tobacco. The earliest possible date for this photograph: 1954, the year Winston was introduced. Notice that the one man in the picture is hatted (of course). He appears to be in need of some Gillette blades.
I was telling my daughter recently what it was like to run a cash register in my Housewares Department days. The register was more like the one in this photograph than not. Ringing up multiples of a single item was the most fun you could have: hold down the keys for the price with the left hand (like playing a chord on a piano), and bang away on the bar with the right: Three at $1.49? $1–40–9, bang, bang, bang.
Is that Sally Draper in the corner? And can you tell that I’m an ex-smoker?
Monday, September 5, 2016
By Michael Leddy at 8:35 AM