SW Broadway, 1950s

Thanks to VP fan Ryan for sending this super color postcard showing a rainy night on SW Broadway in the 1950s. This view is south from Washington Street and while the signage has changed drastically, the buildings on the west side are all pretty much intact today.


23 thoughts on “SW Broadway, 1950s

  1. Hmmm . . . I wonder what’s with the “ghost” to the left of the lady looking down the street?

  2. Ahhh…Jolly Joan! “On Brodayway…Near Washington…In Portland…Always Open…Day & Night!

    For some reason, I seem to remember some kind of “drink”, a special mixed non-alcoholic beverage that they were known for…some kind of Cherry Coke, a float of some kind? It was in a tall glass and came with a long red straw and an umbrella? I think it was 75 cents! Wow…75 cents…golly gosh, that sure was a lot!

    Oh well…years later, when the restaurant left, the space remained vacant for quite some time…then there was a very small “mall” that came and went in the very late 70’s/early 80’s…it was called Continental Crossroads. Anyone remember that?

    And yes, the neon. If one timed it right and the traffic and the lights were in your favor, you could watch all the neon change! It was fantastic!

  3. The reflection of the P.G.E. sign on the north side of Jilly Joan is kind of cool, I remember when those P.G.E. signs were in many of the towns around Oregon.

  4. Stunning. The “goasting” caused by the time lapse just takes it to another level. I can just about smell that popcorn wagon in the next block. I’m with Dave and Dennis on the neon
    . That old slow speed Kodachrome had some great quality’s that pixels will never replace

  5. @Dennis: As both Broadway and Washington are already one-way in this photo I don’t think it can be from before 1950.

  6. Nau pharmacy bottles are highly collectible now days. At one time they were in the Portland Hotel.

  7. went to Jolly Joan when I was in Hastings Business School in the 40’s had cherry cokes and french fries good times t o remember.

  8. Specifically what causes the “ghost” is that someone was standing in that spot, but was not there long enough for the camera to totally register the image via light exposure on the film. When the person walked out of the photo, it did not record that as he was moving too fast and so this 1/2 exposure of the person remains.
    Union Cab. Had not heard of that one.

  9. Roxanne: Thank you. I’m sure you are correct. My point would be that with an asa 25 time expose-er was automatically problematic as it was always so with emulsions whether on glass or film, beyond the control of the photographer. Now days it is just another of a suite of options available. Another thing beyond the control of this photographer is the warmth of Kodachrome. Digital is much cooler and of course it can be Photoshopped to any result. For those reasons I just feel the photo rises to level of art and I envy the photographers skill.

    For me it just completely captures the time and the place.

    Dennis, yes, it is under the cup.

    Looking at the ghost i’ll bet he’s wearing a pair of white cords and a pair of brogans from the English Boot shop at 9th and Washington as well as a brown bomber jacket. Perfect for ’49-’52. Anyone else want to take a guess. It’s been said before that with a pair of cords and some taps on your shoes you were a one man band. Whoopa whoopa, tick, tick and if your girl friend had taps on those saddles it was like a Gene Kruppa solo going up Broadway.

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