Feast Your Eyes: Sweets in Store

The following is a guest post by Donna Collins, Photo Preservation Specialist, Prints and Photographs Division.

On Valentine’s Day, candy and other sweet treats are popular gifts. With this holiday approaching, I browsed the Prints and Photographs collections featuring shops and stands that displayed such confections. The range of tempting locales was as varied as a sampler-style box of chocolates. Here are a few selections:

Clerks of the Franklin Candy store in Washington, DC, patiently await their customers:

Franklin Candy Co., [Washington, D.C.] Photo by National Photo Company, between 1921 and 1922. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.30298

Franklin Candy Co., [Washington, D.C.] Photo by National Photo Company, between 1921 and 1922. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.30298

This marvelous 1940’s RKO movie theatre candy kiosk virtually beckons movie-goers to browse its shelves for the perfect cinema treat:

RKO theatre candy stand, New York City. Photo by Gottscho-Scheisner, Inc., Dec. 12, 1949. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/gsc.5a16554

RKO theatre candy stand, New York City. Photo by Gottscho-Scheisner, Inc., Dec. 12, 1949. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/gsc.5a16554

This unique candy store could make its way to the customer, as seen in this 1922 photo of the mobile shop spotted on the road:

Austrian nobleman, impoverished, takes "traveling candy store" on the road. Photo by Underwood & Underwood, 1922. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a35549

Austrian nobleman, impoverished, takes “traveling candy store” on the road. Photo by Underwood & Underwood, 1922. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a35549

Decisions, decisions … part of the fun is the process of choosing which treat to try! Russell Lee perfectly captured such a moment in Caldwell, Idaho where two little boys are shown considering their candy selection at this open air stand:

Little boys deciding what kind of candy they want to buy. Caldwell, Idaho. Photo by Russell Lee, July 1941. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a30226

Little boys deciding what kind of candy they want to buy. Caldwell, Idaho. Photo by Russell Lee, July 1941. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a30226

No matter the style of the shop, the process of seeking and finding just the right treat adds a special dimension to the experience. With so many images available for browsing, you may feel like a kid in a candy store!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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