In early April of 2014, I discovered the above picture on and was immediately interested in this striking photo - especially the way the men are looking straight at the camera. I learned that this photo was taken in July of 1939 by Dorothea Lang, the famous photographer who shot those powerful pictures of the Dust Bowl during the Depression.

The detail in the photo, the advertising signs on the exterior of the gas station, and the men, all make this photo a unique "moment in time."

I also learned that her original photo was in Black and White of course, but that someone had recently colorized it, resulting in this amazing photograph.

Above is a photo I found of Dorothea Lang with camera in hand.

And this is probably Dorothea Lang's most famous single photograph, taken during the Depression. I'm sure you recognize it.

Again on the website, I found the original black and white photo she took in July of 1939....

Along with an alternative version - slightly different pose - of the first photo. Notice the man drinking the soda.

At, I found a third photo taken at the same gas station showing three young girls. Because of the trash on the ground and porch, I believe this is actually the first photo made that July day, with the two other photos made later that same day.

But here is where this story gets really interesting: The gas station in this photograph was located in the little crossroads community of Gordonton, North Carolina, and the building in the photograph (the gas station) is still standing - seventy five years later!

So, one Saturday in April, Kathi and I drove to and found the original building in Gordonton which is northeast of Burlington, N.C.

And, as luck would have it, a man and his son saw us photographing the old building and told us that the man standing in the doorway of the original photo was Raney Banes, his Great Uncle!

After Jim and his son Walter left us, I used a copy of the original photograph to place my tripod and camera in exactly the same spot that Dorothea Lang used to make the original photographs.

This is my photograph after converting it to black and white. By the way, after examining the building wall carefully, I discovered that two of the original advertising signs are still in position - one can just be seen immediately above the top left of the door.

Since my photograph was taken from almost the exact same spot as the original photograph was taken, with a little Photoshop work, I can place the men back into the present-day building.

Now there's one more note regarding this famous 1939 photograph.

Something in the back of my mind kept telling me that I had seen this photograph somewhere else......

After thinking about this for some time, I remembered that I had photographed this almost exact same scene.....

at The American Adventure at DisneyWorld's Epcot! It's obvious that the Disney designers saw and attempted to capture the setting depicted in Dorothea Lang's Gordonton Gas Station photograph.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my discoveries. Wayne Jacobs - email: wjacobs901 (at) outlook dot com