Photos of Southington, Connecticut in 1942 by Charles Fenno Jacobs

In May 1942, during World War 2, the town of Southington in Connecticut was selected by the US War Department to be featured in a defence pamphlet called 'Southington, CT—Microcosm of America'. Thousands of copies were dropped from military airplanes over Europe during the Nazi German Occupation.

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

Monty’s Diner – Monty’s Diner was open 24 hours a day during the war to accommodate shift workers in the town’s defense plants, but business declined in the postwar years and Monty’s closed in 1964.

In May 1942, during World War 2, the town of Southington in Connecticut was selected by the US War Department to be featured in a defence pamphlet called Southington, CT—Microcosm of America. At that time in the war the small, farm-based town had a population at just under 10,000. Of that 10,000, according to the Southington Observer 1,591 residents were serving in World War II. Having worked for Life, Fortune, and U.S. Camera magazines, the talented Charles Fenno Jacobs was chosen to photograph the small town to capture the essence of daily life in America.

The publication was intended to show friends and foes alike in Europe the typical American citizens and families, their traditions and values. Thousands of copies were dropped from military airplanes over Europe during the Nazi German Occupation.

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

School children in Southington, Connecticut performing the Bellamy salute in May 1942.

The hand salute that the children are giving is called The Bellamy Salute, created by Francis Bellamy to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he wrote in 1892. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the “flag salute”. In the 1920s and 1930s Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a similar salute mistakenly thinking the Romans used a similar gesture. Unsurprisingly it was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942.

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

May 23-30, 1942 Southington, Connecticut. (“Where Southington folk buy their magazines.”)

colourised version.

An extraordinary colourised version of the original photograph by Colorizing History Each magazine was researched and coloured accurately. Worth having a look.

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

May 23-30, 1942 Southington, Connecticut. (“Where Southington folk buy their magazines.”)

Southington, Connecticut

The Old Mill is a popular place for young couples on Saturday night

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

Women standing outside of Oxley’s Drug Store, at the corner of Center and North Main Street. The store opened in 1889 and served the Southington community for more than 100 years.

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

Laff in the Dark, Amusement Park

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

Shopping on a Saturday night.

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

An American town and its way of life. Southington girls, members of the youth drum corps

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

Southington school children staging a patriotic demonstration

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

Mrs. Ethel Oxley in the drugstore she ran on the town’s main street. Her family had a business on this same corner for more than 200 years

Southington, Connecticut Charles Fenno Jacobs 1942

group of women rolling bandages and preparing surgical dressings May1942

Members of the youth drum corps

Southington Connecticut highlight in the town’s life is the annual girls’ glee club recital May 1942

Member of the youth drum corps

School girl studying

Dancing at the Amusement park

Amusement park dancing

Post office exterior

Dancing at the Old Mill

Post office

Dimitrios Giorgio’s soda fountain

Red Cross mess hall

School children pledging their allegiance to the flag

Amusement park dodgems

Amusement park Dodgems

At an early age school children learn about the meaning of the American flag

Southington school children staging a patriotic demonstration

May 1942

Thomas J. Murphy, chief of the fire department, and its only salaried member, chatting with one of the volunteers

dancing and music Amusement park

Dancing at the Amusement park

Roller coaster amusement park

An one-room school. A photograph featuring the only African-American in any of Jacobs’ photographs of Southington.

Shopping on Saturday nights

more dancing musement park

Amusement park Laff in the Dark in the dark

A highlight in the town’s life is the annual girls’ glee club recital

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, FSA-OWI Collection