Mystery Photo No. 56

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As we feared, our Mystery Photo published last Monday turned out to be too much of a mystery for readers of the Observer-Reporter. So, we are offering today another photo for which we have no identification, hoping the public can help us with this one.


Last week’s photo was of a group of young men in motley football gear from around 1900. We know that the equipment they’re wearing, like ribbed shin guards and nose guards, was used between about 1895 and 1905. One reader wrote us that the men must comprise a rugby team because of the shape of the ball. But at that time, footballs were larger and much rounder; the ball was only carried and kicked, not passed.


We’ll set that photo aside and hope that someone solves the puzzle for us later.


This week’s photo was probably taken in the 1940s. It show three men in a diner, and we have no idea where that diner might be or who these men are. The man on the right has his back turned to the camera, but the other two may well be recognized.


The clues are very few. The place was fully equipped to serve ice cream and fountain soda. The clock reflected on the surface of the wall reads 4 o’clock (the mirror image of 8 o’clock), and below it can be seen under magnification a cash register, coat rack and some type of game like a pinball machine. There are salt and pepper shakers on the counter, and the bags next to the man on the left are potato chips.


If you think you recognize the men in the picture, the diner where they were or when the photo might have been taken, email Park Burroughs, retired executive editor, at pburroughs@observer-reporter.com, or call and leave a message for him along with your telephone number at 724-222-2200, extension 2400. With a little luck and assistance from our readers, will be able to solve this puzzle and publish our findings next Monday.


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