Advertising - North Dakota, 1937


Color Reconstruction Jordan Lloyd
Words Jordan Lloyd

Original Photograph by Russell Lee
Format 1 negative : nitrate ; 35 mm
Date November 1937
Location Crosby, North Dakota, USA
Source Library of Congress / Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection

Taken outside a barber’s shop in North Dakota, advertising thermometers exploded in popularity by the 1920s in the USA. Due to large tracts of the states being rural, early advertisers often struggled to push their wares as news mediums mainly involved catching gossip in local diners or the general store.

At some point, companies figured out that combining an advert with a utilitarian device like a sign or a clock would generate far more longevity and soon companies would brand their thermometers using brand colours or recognisable die cut shapes.

Cobbs Creek, named after a real life location in Philadelphia was produced by the Continental Distilling Company was the whisky making subsidiary of Publicker, a large chemical plant that closed in the 1980s, taking the whisky with it.


Cobbs Creek Drink-O-Meter!

Mint Julep

1/4 bar spoon sugar. 3 sprigs mint. Fill glass 3/4 full of shaved ice. 1 Jigger Cobbs Creek.

Bell Ringer

1/2 Jigger of Cobbs Creek. 1/3 Jigger of French Vermouth. 1 bar spoon sugar. 1 dash of Angostura bitters. Ice, mix and strain into glass.

Horse’s Neck

Peel lemon into one long string. Put peel in tall glass so that one end hangs over edge. Add ice cubes and 1 measure of Cobbs Creek. Fill glass with ginger ale.

Mint Smash

Lump of sugar in a little carbonated water. 4 sprigs mint, bruised with muddier. 1 cube ice. 1 Jigger Cobbs Creek. Add lemon peel and orange slices.


Use a tall glass. Fill with ice. Add a measure as much as desired of Cobbs Creek. Add ginger ale or sparkling water, whichever you prefer.

Whisky and Soda

Use a tall glass. Fill 3/4 full of cracked ice. Add a measure of Cobbs Creek. Fill glass with soda or carbonated water. Add lemon peel if desired.


Fill large glass with ice. 2 dashes Angostura bitters. 1/3 Jigger Cobbs Creek. 1/3 Jigger Italian Vermouth. Stir and Strain. Serve in cocktail glass.

Old Fashioned

Old-fashioned glass. Melt lump of sugar in a little water. 2 dashes each of Angostura, Orange bitters. 1 Jigger Cobbs Creek. 2 cubes of ice. Stir, add lemon peel.