Downtown Mount Vernon 1935

This vintage postcard image shows a bustling downtown in 1935. A closer look, however suggests that a little judicious photo-editing may have been performed to make the scene look a little livelier.

MOUNT VERNON -- This week we bring you a view looking north up South Main Street in downtown Mount Vernon from around 1935.

At least that's when the card was postmarked. The image itself might date from slightly earlier, if this scene ever actually took place.

First, the reliable parts of the photo: On the east (right) side of the street, the sign for the Isaly's Dairy store is prominent, along with its underhanging sign informing us that R. G. Crane was the proprietor.

Further up the block is a long “Restaurant” sign. Would I be correct in thinking that marks the spot of the Alcove Restaurant, a downtown fixture since 1911? In the next block, on the corner of the square, we can see part of the huge sign for the Hotel Curtis.

On the west (left) side of the street, we start with the Kresge Company store, then go north past Ferrell's Furniture, past an illegible sign, toward the bank on the corner of the square (though it has no sign in this photo.)

I do have to wonder, though, were Knox Countians of 1935 really this adept at parallel parking, or was the photographer doing a little photo-editing to make this downtown scene a little more vibrant?

While they didn't have Photoshop in those days, they most certainly did have collage and air brushing. Note, in particular, how some of the back ends of cars seem to mysteriously merge into the next car.

I think the photographer was guilding the lily a bit, perhaps at the request of a local patron eager to make his town look bustling and prosperous?

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