The Polar Bear and the Barrel – Great Falls, Montana

Polar Bear Building – 900 Central Ave W, Great Falls, MT
Currently for sale, this building appears to have last housed “Cash Converters”. What was it originally? An ice cream stand? Whatever it was, the building itself has been remodeled and covered over. It’s surprising and fortunate that the iceberg and polar bear on top has survived.

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Barrel O’Bucks
527 Central Ave W, Great Falls, MT 59404

This looks like it was originally a fully barrel shaped building which was gradually added onto over the years. The question is – what was it originally?
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Pictures from the road – Missoula, Montana

This was just a quick day trip to Missoula, combing through the thrift and antique shops for my business, Vintage Haberdashers. I hope you enjoy the pictures!
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English Diner No. 1 – Salisbury, MD

 

Thompson’s Diner opened in 1929 at 209 East Main Street, Salisbury, Maryland. The barrel roofed diner was bought by Jack English in either 1934 or 1936, depending on the source, and was the first of what was to be a diner empire on the Eastern Shore.

According to a 1967 article in the Salisbury Daily Times, “Mr. English, a Riverton farm boy who attended business college here by hose and buggy. . . worked in canneries, for Victor Talking Machine in Camden, NJ, and starting as an order boy for the American Stores Co. he became manager of the Philadelphia store, later becoming general manager of the New Jersey Area.

In the 1930s, the old 36 barrel roof was traded in on a large L-shaped double monitor roof graft, then again for an L shaped c.1947 O’Mahony “arrow” style diner. With its dining room addition, this diner sat 200. The diner survived long enough to make it into the guide in the back of Richard Gutman’s “American Diner Then and Now”, but has since been replaced with a mansard roofed brick office.  It appears that part of the dining room or kitchen still stands. photo EastMain.jpgA big thanks to Ed Engel for bringing the 1960s article to my attention. I’ve been searching for info to fill the gaps on the English Diner chain for years!

Delaware Diner, c.1976

 

Here’s a vintage slide from my collection. I don’t know the location of the diner, but there are some clues in the photo I’m working off of. First is the sign that says “Delaware SPCA”. That places the diner somewhere in Delaware. There is a sign that says “Bay Bridge, Rt 13 – 301”.  These two roads, both routes to the bridge, come close to each other near Newark, DE. The photo is 1970s, evidenced by both the cars, and the presence of the reproduction Liberty Bell on the back of the truck. Near the diner, there is a motel, a Shell station and a Gulf station.   Anyone remember this stretch of road or have any ideas? photo delaware.jpg