Flippin' Burgers, 1938

Flippin' Burgers, 1938

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Flippin' Burgers, 1938
Digital Color Reconstruction by Jordan J. Lloyd, 2014
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This pain-stakingly colorized photograph is based on Russell Lee’s original photograph, taken in October 1938.

Caption reads, "Making hamburgers in concession stand, National Rice Festival, Crowley, Louisiana."

A young man grills hamburgers the old fashioned way before fast food. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a big fan of Americana - everyday scenes that capture the tapestry of life in the early 20th century. This image was a great technical challenge, with a lot of signage, reflections and details that really tested my patience. My favourite bit is the hamburger patties browning on the side touching the grill, which has about 16 layers of colours on it.

The signage is as authentic as I can make it, if not sourcing the posters used, then branding from the same campaign or advertising run using the brands colours. Royal Crown Cola is still sold today, and 7-Up’s signage was actually predominantly black and red until the 1940’s. The billboards at the top were a challenge, but narrowed down the poster on the right to be Pan-Am Motor Oils’ ‘Ella Cinders’ character which appeared in comics, they are now collectors items. The poster on the right is advertising the 1938 feature film Spawn of the North starring George Raft, Akim Tamiroff and Louis Platt - filmed in Alaska and produced by Paramount Pictures, whose logo you can see if you look closely.

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Open Editions – Unframed

Our prints are printed on Kodak Fibre Satin, using the latest Epson UltraChrome inks with a shelf life of over a century.
Printed with care on the south coast of England.
A4 Open Edition Dimensions – 21 × 29.7 cm, 8.27 x 11.69 inches.
A3 Open Edition Dimensions – 29.7 × 42 cm, 11.69 x 16.53 inches.
Please note this print is unframed.

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This is a derivative work.
Original photograph by Russell Lee
Crowley, Louisiana, USA
(Library of Congress)

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