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London, Ohio: an American dream


London, OH historic photo 1960's

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Gaming Google

Updated February 04, 2018  12:51:40 PM | By Bob Fugett

About the Book and Author

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London, Ohio: an American dream

London, Ohio, historic photo 1960's: click for current photo on Wikipedia.

Historic photo of downtown London, Ohio which one source titled 'Cars1950s.jpg' while another titled it 'london1960s.jpg'.


[02/04/18: It has come to my attention there has been some confusion about these pages, but otherwise they have been useful to a number of people. Therefore, I am placing this note at the top and allowing everything else to stand as is. The photographer of the image above has been identified as likely to have been Darla Darlington's father. That means this site has served its purpose, and the Forum is now closed to comment. There was also no physical book ever needed, as the website covered it all. Last I heard, Ray Ballenger was working on a print book about the history of London, Ohio, and from what I have seen of the photographs to be used it will be (or is) spectacular, so if you are looking for something to hold in your hand, go bother Ray. I am sure you will not be disappointed.]

Above is the quintessential photograph of historic London, Ohio.

If you have any information about this photo please put a note in the Forum.

You will not have to sign in or provide any personal information, just prove you are human by entering the Captcha text.

My name is Bob Fugett. I searched the Internet for a long time to find the photo above, and I am really anxious to learn more about it.

I could no longer stand the lack of consolidated Internet information about historic London, Ohio, so today (05/20/12) I am starting this book to aggregate what I have been able to find in the last dozen or so years and in the process elevate the photo above (my favorite) up past nonsense returns in Google search rankings.

Maybe I could just ask somebody about it, but I am too smart to sign up for one of those dead-end Facebook, Linked-in, High School Yearbooks, People You Knew type social networking websites.

I assume most other people also have better things to do with their time.

This book is part of a series of websites that I have specifically designed for the upcoming post-tweety-face world.

I will bet somebody will eventually get here and be so happy they do not have to sign up for anything they will take the time to leave a note.

And no, I am not a web designer.

The point of my post-tweety-face websites is that they are designed to do something by the very selfsame person who is actually doing the something that is the focus of the website—rather than the usual design by committee previously dictated by the division of labor required by using old-timey last century tools and technology, such as paper.

This new way of doing business will only become standard after these new tools mature a little bit more becoming more useable for people who are without a PhD in computer science.

Not that I have a PhD, I have just been doing this since before there was even such a thing as a single class in Computer Science let alone advanced degrees granted.

Of course for this stuff to work correctly we also have to get past the current buzzword, flavor of the day, techno babble 120 character limited world we live in of, dare I say: "BULLSHIT!"

Well three quarters of the Ohio audience just got chased away, but that is an aside.

Back on track, I have managed to stay on the cusp of my predicted future by hanging ten on the wave of exploding technology for 40+ years, so I have developed pretty good balance and can do stuff like getting forgotten images on the tail end of search results pushed up to the top of Google.

[ As of 06/15/12 a search for "historic london ohio" already puts six images from the book you are reading on page 1 of returns, probably how you got here. ]

However if you are currently living in London don't get too excited about this page and run off saying something like:

"Hey, they are writing a book about London, Ohio!"

They are not writing a book about London. I am.

This book is ancillary to a larger work I am working on about the benefit of old-timey solid business practices (aside from the obsolete technology), and how the basics of great service and great product make for a raging success.

Basically all the stuff I was taught during my time in London, Ohio.

It is about stuff that worked there in the 1950's thru early 70's and still works today.

However, it is unlikely any of this will be of direct use to anybody now living in London, Ohio.

In fact the other work I mentioned will likely be hated by most of the local townspeople if any of them stumble across it.

I don't say this because I know anybody in London today...I'm just saying.

I was considered a rather odd bird when I lived there and assume that would certainly still be true today.

Otherwise people in London, OH might like to see how I mention Coach Bowlus, Coach Elvin King, and Dick Lebeau in another of my books, plus they might have an interest in what I have assembled on my Historic Photos page here in: London, Ohio: an American dream.

And no (to repeat), I am not a web designer but only appear to own the Internet because I have been doing this since a few days before there was a World Wide Web.

I really know this stuff.


It is now less than two weeks since I wrote the paragraphs above, and Google is already returning this page and the front cover on the first page of returns for:

historic photo of downtown London, Ohio 

This morning a did a review to make sure I never lose sight of why I started this book.

Over the last several years, I did the above search and similar looking for an image that could answer a question I had regarding the name of a business in London, Ohio, from the time the photo on top of this page was taken.

I was constantly frustrated by how deep into search pages I had to wade in order to find photos that were actually about London, OH instead of London somewhere else, or some website that was not really about anything but assembled by an automated bot merely grabbing the names of every town in the world, then the names of every person ever associated with those towns, and then throwing up bogus automated pretend websites.

Often returns pointed to sites that were not about any London at all, just similar small towns.

But deep searches far into the nether regions of Google would sometimes return gold.

For instance, here is my iPod screen grab from page 63 (the final page returned) from this morning's search.

The next to the last thumbnail image is of two shoppers near their car in front of the Madison County Courthouse in 1938. I found that photo only after years of searching—and that was awhile ago.

It was the trigger point that answered a lot of my confusion over what was where in all the photos I had been looking at previously.

Here is a larger version of the photo, and if you are confused because you found the same photo on page 1 or your own search, well, I can get things done.

Summer 1938. Saturday afternoon shopping in London, Ohio.
35mm nitrate negative by Ben Shahn
forK the Farm Security Administration.

I actually gasped the first time I opened this photo.

Previously nothing came close to matching the shape, space, and architecture of my own internal remembrance of London, OH.

I would look at photos, try to decide where in town they were, then try to figure out what was different.

Was I going daft? Absolutely nothing seemed right.

Google street level maps were about as close to showing the London, Ohio, that I remembered as they would be to Mars.

Had I imagined everything I thought I knew about London?

Was it all just a fairy tale figment of my imagination?

But when I looked into that 1938 photo, it all sprung back crystal clear.

"Why was that?" I thought, "What makes this photo so correct?"

Then I saw it.

The secret is the London, Ohio, historic skyline you can see behind the gentleman's hat.

That corner block with the contour and haughty heft of a central business district is of course long gone, but even the buildings that remain have lost their facade overhangs.

Maybe you need to look at the original source to get the full feeling, but when I saw that skyline it was the moment I started to put things back together in my head.

I finally had a lynch pin to remember those store names.

Think about it: that photo 63 pages deep in an Internet search and that after years of browsing.

But I still did not have a clear shot of the downtown stores.

To continue: during this morning's review and search, the mother lode was on page 60.

Notice below the first 5 images are links to London Tom photos on Geoslocation pointing to Flikr while at the end of the second row down is Alexandra's Bed and Breakfast pointing to what is found on the Rails to Trails Conservancy website.


Then by simply adding quotes to "historic photo" my image of interest which is prominently displayed top left, page 1 of Google returns and links to London, Ohio: an American dream , the book you are now reading.

Am I good or what? Got that image right up there. Now we are getting somewhere.

As a text return this book has already been for some time on the first page and just below the Historic Downtown London Ohio website which is about as far up in the listings as I should ever want...near but not overpowering actual local London websites.

That www.visitlondonoh.org mentioned in the previous paragraph is where I found the 'Cars1950s.jpg' version of the image from top of page, but it has no information attached, and later (on a different website) I found a copy of the same image but lightly Photoshopped to fix the left side tear plus using the file name 'london1960s.jpg'.

Still no information was attached.

So we'll see if somebody finds my little book here and can tell me who took the photo, maybe the exact day, and why.

In any case, on page 4 of this morning's search was a link to one of the most spectacular photos of the courthouse imaginable.

That particular early light is something I recall very well, having walked by that spot many a morning on my way home after having worked all night in my dad's restaurant...which I later realized was how he controlled my Friday nights, keeping me out of trouble, not cruising the Dixie and football games.

Here is a link to the photo of that morning light courthouse I knew so well, another great LondonTom photo.

- Bob Fugett



And just a memento -

Formerly, Fugett's Double AA Restaurant


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