The grainy image above dates from the last days when Bill Arney held down the fort in the Sam Spade apartment in 891 Post Street, quick, rough documentation before the rooms went on into a then unknown future.
Now we know what Sam’s bathtub looks like after a polished restoration — but this tub shot reminds me of the first time Hammett’s daughter Jo visited the place. She glanced at Bill’s trademark noir towels and mentioned that the only towels her father would use had to be white. Didn’t know why, exactly.
Bill exclaimed something to the effect of “I never heard that before!”
Yeah. Where could you have heard something like that?
Obviously Bill told the restoration crew about the white towel angle. Look at the current tub shot and you’ll see that authentic detail added into the tiny room where the strip search scene occurs in The Maltese Falcon.