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This Chattanooga Free Press photo shows the checkout counter at a local restaurant on Dec. 17, 1958. Photo from the Chattanooga Free Press collection at ChattanoogaHistory.com.

The caption for this 1958 photo from the Chattanooga Free Press archives has been lost.

Perhaps an alert reader can name this mystery restaurant. If you think you know the name and location of this establishment, email Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com.

Two clues: The bull horns and the cast-iron skillet clock mounted on the wall behind the checkout counter might trigger someone's memory.

Following up on the longhorn clue, there were several "Longhorn" restaurants opened here in the 20th century, according to newspaper archives, but none noted before 1960, when a Longhorn restaurant opened on North Market Street. Later, locally owned Longhorn restaurants opened on Signal Mountain, McCallie Avenue and in the Brainerd area.

For historic context, 1958 was the year that entertainer Elvis Presley entered the United States Army and NASA was born. The average yearly wage in the United States that year was $3,851 and the typical house cost just under $13,000.

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Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.

If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives, or original non‐digital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.

 

In this photo, a wall calendar displays the date: Dec. 17, 1958. On that date in history, a Wednesday, the top story in the New York Times reported that Mao Tse-tung had just given up his job at the chairman of the Chinese People's Republic.

The restaurant photograph is part of the Chattanooga Free Press collection at ChattanoogaHistory.com, a website featuring vintage photos and curated by local history buff Sam Hall.

If you take a deep dive into this photograph, there is a lot to digest.

Barely visible on the right is the edge of a diner-booth jukebox, which might also help someone pin down the location.

The check-out space is also notable for its mid-century machinery, a Remington adding machine and a National cash register. Electronic calculators would not be commonly used until the 1970s, and the cash register hearkens to a day before widespread use of credit cards.

Paying your hand-written guest check in 1958 was also an opportunity for a restaurant to tempt you with impulse purchases.

Candy was big. Here, you can spot common candy brands such as Lifesavers, Mounds and Hershey's chocolate bars. Not so familiar to today's consumers, perhaps, are the DeBeukelaer candies also in the display, which were made by a company with roots in Belgium.

It may seem odd now, but restaurant-goers in the 1950s were also tempted at checkout with Tums antacid tablets and Goodies headache powers. Either could be had for a dime.

A display case filled with cigars in boxes was also common in the 1950s. Here, such brands as Hav-A-Tampa, Dutch Masters, Roi-tan and Tampa Nuggets are on display. The Roi-Tan box notes the price is 10 cents per cigar.

Please follow the Remember When, Chattanooga? public group on Facebook.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com.

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