History Nebraska Blog

The Corner Drugstore, 1934

Image of a corner drug store

One of the joys of the extensive History Nebraska photo collection is the inevitability of stumbling upon interesting photos that have nothing to do with what you’re actually looking for. (This is one reason we have a blog.) Here’s a scene from downtown Lincoln in August 1934 (RG2158-2424). According to the Lincoln City Directory, Rasmussen Drugs was located at 149 N. 13th St. The photo’s details tell a story of 1930s life.

Detail of the corner drug store. A sign that reads Kuklin School of Tap Dancing

A tap dance school is just upstairs, catering to dreams stoked by movies and vaudeville. (You can almost hear the reasoning: Fred Astaire is from Omaha, so why couldn’t the next great dancer come from Lincoln?)

Detail of the corner drug store. A sign that reads Special: Hot Plate Lunch

Looks like the hot plate lunch special costs twenty-five cents.

Detail of the corner drug store. Painted image of a woman in an advertisement

Coca-Cola invokes the 1930s ideal of feminine charm to sell its product. 

Detail of the corner drug store. A sign that reads: Rector's Pharmacy, Chancellor 10 cent cigar, Drugs, Lunches, Soda

A cigar ad reveals the name of the pharmacy’s former owner.

Detail of the corner drug store. A makeup ad in a window display.

A makeup company offers a solution to aging skin, while the window’s reflection reveals the photographer’s unintended subjects: two boys by an automobile.


—David Bristow, Associate Director / Publications

Become a History Nebraska Member Today

Learn More