Good historical photos can give amazing glimpses into the daily lives of people in the past. This 1934 photo of Rasmussen Drugs in downtown Lincoln does exactly that, with fascinating historic ads and a surprise hidden in a window reflection.
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.
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?)
Looks like the hot plate lunch special costs twenty-five cents.
Coca-Cola invokes the 1930s ideal of feminine charm to sell its product.
A cigar ad reveals the name of the pharmacy’s former owner.
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.
(An update about the photos we shared in this post: “More from the Corner Drugstore”)
—David Bristow, Associate Director / Publications