The Corner Drugstore, 1934

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.

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.

(An update about the photos we shared in this post: “More from the Corner Drugstore”)

—David Bristow, Associate Director / Publications

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Portraits of Omaha’s 1898 Indian Congress

Portraits of Omaha’s 1898 Indian Congress

Marker Monday: Shell Creek Pawnee Settlements

Marker Monday: Shell Creek Pawnee Settlements

The Huskers wore blue jerseys for Memorial Stadium’s first game

The Huskers wore blue jerseys for Memorial Stadium’s first game

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.