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Historical Newsstand and General Store Photos - comics era

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Newssstands where the chief way of distributing comics along with drug stores and later five and dime general stores.  All of them will be appearing in this topic. 

I'll be sharing newsstand and general store photos from 1936-on here which will hopefully show comics but not always.  Not every newsstand had them and not every photo had them in the angle the shot was taken from.

I think it makes sense to start off with the pictures used in the banner at the top here.


NOTE: To navigate between the pics you can click on the thumbnails at the bottom or use the arrows on either side of the main picture.

So first up is the two pictures used in our current banner at the top of this topic thread: message pictures/newsstands/1943.01 NYC-Coles Comics -BANNER.jpg message pictures/newsstands/1938.11.13-omaha-neb -BANNER.jpg message pictures/newsstands/1938.11.13-Omaha-Nebraska detail.jpg message pictures/newsstands/1941.04 -News stand from Cole's Comics.jpg            1                       2                        3                       4 

Both of these pictures are part of the famous Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information photograph collection.  This is the same USA government body that has pictures by the wonderful Dorothea Lange among many other noted photographers.  They were given the hard job of documenting the USA as it went through the depression and dust bowl eras of US history.

#1 photo is from Jan. 1943 NYC - Cole's Comics and among a pile of newspapers and pulps you can see three books on the far right: 
The easiest to see is Fight Comics #24 (February 1943) which is in front of a barely determinable
Wings Comics #30 (February 1943) and in front of the Fight:
Mickey Finn #2 (November 1942).

Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, LC-USW3-013953-D

Title: New York, New York. Newsstand on Fourth Avenue at Fourteenth Street which sells foreign language newspapers
Creator(s): Collins, Marjory, 1912-1985, photographer
Date Created/Published: 1943 Jan.

To see a larger TIFF version of the pic use this link:

#2 + #3 photo is one I'd call a CLASSIC PHOTO.  You can find it on several sites because it's jaw dropping great! A newsstand photo from Nov. 1938 in Omaha, Nebraska.  A detailed image of the comics section is in photo #3.

An accurate date can be figured out by the LIFE magazine along the top which is from Nov 14th 1938. The cover model is Brenda Frazier.

As well as Time Magazine (November 14, 1938)

Top row middle  -  Amazing Stories (January 1939)

Comics - Second row down, from far left:
we can easily identify the rest of the books from right to left:
Funny Pages v2#12 (December 1938)
Super Comics #7  (November 1938)
Keen Detective Funnies #11 (December 1938)
Comics on Parade #9 (December 1938)
Adventure #32 (November 1938)
Star Comics #16  (December 1938)
Funny Picture Stories v2 #11 (November 1938)
Popular Comics #35 (December 1938)
Crackajack Funnies #6 (November 1938)

Down front middle right:
Collier's Weekly November 19, 1938

Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, LC 8939-D

Title: Newsstand. Omaha, Nebraska
Creator(s): Vachon, John, 1914-1975, photographer
Date Created/Published: 1938 Nov.

To see a larger TIFF version of the pic use this link:

#4 And as a bonus here's another earlier picture of Cole's Comics from 1941 this time.  I think the same seller is manning the stand.

There are plenty of comics and other magazines here!
Comic top row (l-r):
Jumbo #26 (a guess)
Green Mask #4 (Feb/Mar 1941)
Hit Comics #11 (May 1941)
Blue Beetle Comics #7 (May/June 1941)
Green Hornet Comics #4 (May 1941)
True Comics #1 (April 1941)
Flash Comics #17 (May 1941)
Big 3 #3 (May 1941)
Second row down (l-r)
Detective Comics #50 (April 1941)
Superman #10 (April 1941)
Jumbo Comics #26 (April 1941)
Wonderworld Comics #24 (April 1941)
Sub-Mariner Comics #1 (Spring1941)
Bill Barnes America's Air Ace #1 (1941)
Target Comics v2 #4 [16] (June 1941)
Feature Comics #44 (May 1941)

and for pulp fans you'll see the corner of the April 5, 1941, number of Detective Fiction Weekly hanging just above the Liberty magazine.


I hope everyone enjoys these pics.  As always when I see them one can't help but sigh and wish we could reach out and buy them for scanning today.

Take care everyone!

This is a great start, Yoc. Looking forward to whatever else comes along.

Dave Hayward:
A great addition to the site Yoc.
From my point of view over the other side of the pond, it's fascinating to see the array of books of various types on what looks a street side stall. Can't wait for more - soon (hint, hint  ;) ).
We never had anything similar when I was younger, although the local Newsagents shops had a spinner rack of DC Comics with the occational Marvel or Charlton book, this was in the 1960's.
I was raised a DC fan, solely due to the fact that Thorpe and Porter, who distributed DC at that time were based in Thurmaston Leicester, just down the road, happy days.
We used to receive them months later, usually in batches of two or three issues of a title at once - handy for the yearly JLA-JSA team-ups as you didn't have to wait for the second installment, provided you were quick enough and my Mum or Dad were willing to fork out the cash.

Thanks for sharing Dave.  An interesting look at how things differed from here in North America.

Sidewalk newsstands were a part of urban U.S. life for maybe a century. (In Canada as well, I assume.)

In late 1970 and early 1971, right after I got married, I sometimes stopped at one in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The big clapboard place was busy enough during general business hours that at least three guys were kept busy. (One of the regular workers was an energetic dwarf.) The one comic I particularly remember buying at the stand was Savage Tales #1.


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