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Bill Cotter

Anybody want a Coke?

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Is that a waitress or a nurse?

I was just thinking... didn't nurses look awesome in their white dresses and caps?

Each teaching hospital and nursing school had their own cap design and stripe pattern. Today, you can't tell the nurses apart from the cleaning staff in a hospital. The dumbing down of society continues.

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Is that a waitress or a nurse?

Either way, suddenly I'm very thirsty!

And it's cool to see even the corner of the beautiful Gas Pavilion behind her. Thanks for sharing the pic, Bill. Will make sure that sometime today I have a "Have a Coke and a Smile."

9160-312_p1.jpg

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Hiya Bunny,

The guy on the right looks like Toby McGuire (sp?) to me. They look like soldiers and the girl does look like a nurse! I have some shoys inside Mayflower Doughnuts and inside Elgin (you could get your watch repaired) and other buildings etc.. and all the female servers are dressed like this. I recall something vaguely similar when I was very small.

Best,

Eric MB

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Hi Bill,

another great shot. The guy appears to looking at a map or a fair news thingie or some such, but I really wonder what the signs on the little posts are that the other two are holding? One is face up and one face down. There seem to be a pile of something perhaps similar on the ground on the left. I doubt this one can be solved.

MB

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That is a remarkable photograph. I also wonder what they are holding and what the pile of papers on their right (our left) might be. I also notice how well dressed they are. I suspect they are grandparents with their grand daughter (just a guess). The woman is actually wearing gloves and all are respectfully dressed for their wonderful day at the Fair. I would guess that the man is consulting a Fair map.

This is a wonderful shot. It could almost be an advertisement for Coca Cola! In any event, it is one of the best "moment in time" photographs I have seen.

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The pile of papers on our left appears to be more signs like the ones the woman and girl are holding on their laps. Unfortunately I can't make out what the signs say. It's hard to see that pair being a bunch of protesters though!

I first thought the man was reading a menu, but it's way too wordy for that. The document has three columns and the left most is full of justified text, not what you would expect on a menu. No graphics so not a map.

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I saw how "wordy" that sheet the man is holding as well, Bill. That is what made me think it might be a map and the reverse side might be the map's key to the buildings. Of course, that is just a guess. He is clearly absorbed in what he is reading. Whomever snapped that photograph must have told the people to hold up their Coca Cola bottles. The woman and girl do just that. The man is too but only to accommodate the photographer. Look at how he is holding his bottle. He is focused on that reading material whether it is a map or something else. He is not holding that bottle in a manner by which he could easily drink from it. He is doing what the photographer asked him to do.

As for the placards, there is no way they were a part of any protest. The Fair allowed no mention of current events, the world situation and the like on the Fairgrounds especially in 1940. Nor do these people appear to anything other than a happy little family group visiting the Fair. Perhaps they were a part of a special day activity, parade, celebration etc. Again, just a supposition.

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Actually, Jim, I have some shots from 1940 of quite a crowd looking at speakers in front of a giant Union Jack flag, and it looks like a political type rally. I also have several shots of US Army units parading next to the Lagoon of Nations, so the outside world intruded at least in part.

I do imagine that these people were more likely to be part of a benign event, and if we could read them the signs would be something like "Happy Chester Arthur Day".

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When I researched my masters thesis on the Fair I learned that political protests were not allowed especially in 1940 and that patrons in Fair restaurants were "asked to refrain from discussing the European situation." The Fair did not allow news stories to be broadcast from the public address system either. Their concern was that the dismal global situation would further reduce attendance in 1940 and the goal was to keep the Fair a positive, happy escape for patrons.

There were special events days with political overtones at some of the European pavilions but these were planned and supportive of one nation or another and never designed to be "against" anything. The French Pavilion, for example, had basically closed in 1940 but there was a donation box placed in the main entrance for the support of war victims. The British pavilion had a captured German parachute on display along with some other war items. I know that some of the national days, in 1940, became rallies in support of overrun or threatened nations, but that would not fall under the category of a protest per se.

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The little girl is holding her coke bottle the "normal" way, but the two elderly people are holding theirs in a way that suggests they were just sitting there and somebody walked up and asked "would you mind holding this bottle for a publicity photo?"

Nobody would hold the bottle that way to drink out of it.

Where did you find the photo Bill? Maybe it is a publicity shot.

If you zoom in and the label on all three bottles is turned the direction of the camera, I'd say it is at least partly staged.

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Thanks for the additional info, Jim. Is your thesis available to read? Sounds like it would be invaluable for fair enthusiasts.

Randy - this is certainly a staged image, at least the Coke part. I ended up with about 5-6 large size negatives of people with Cokes at the Fair. In this case they probably saw the family sitting there and asked them to hold a Coke for the camera. I have another one coming up of 6 hostesses at the Swift Pavilion holding up Cokes next to a table loaded with sandwiches. The earlier ones in this thread were from the same batch, which for some unknown reason also included the press conference announcing that the Fair would be back for 1940 - and no, they don't show Grover Whelan or Mayor LaGuardia up at the podium with a Coke!

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Bill, I have bound copies and there is a copy at Binghamton University (SUNY) available for reading. I don't know how to scan it or put it on line and it must be about 90 pages in length so it might be too difficult to do that.

Jim

PS: I just noticed that it appears none of the three in that photograph have taken a drink out of their respective bottles. They are all at the same level. It is a great photograph and I love the expressions on each of their faces. But the one of the older gentleman is priceless. He'll pose, all right, but has better things to concern him!

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It looks like it really is liquid in side of the bottles instead of them just being props with the liquid painted on.....the girl is holding hers at a slight tilt, and the liquid seems to have settled itself accordingly.

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Another shot of people enjoying a Coke at the Fair:

39-coke-3.jpg

I think the old gent is perusing a racing form. The young lady to the right looks alittle like a young Natalie Wood.

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N.W. was born 1938. Girl looks older than 2. :lol:

I don't see the resemblence myself. An 8 year old Natalie would have broken the camera with her radiance. One of the world's great beauties.

But I love that picture! Gramps has obviously done very well for himself, and I'll bet he dotes on his grand-daughter. Super!

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Never thought of the racing form. I really do like this photograph. And I wonder what those bottles would be worth to a collector today.

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