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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Garage: 1908

The Garage: 1908

Lake George, New York, circa 1908. "Garage interior, Fort William Henry Hotel." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

What Shorpy Will Lead One To !

Thanks, Shorpy!

So being from Hartford I decide to track down the Hartford Tires sign hanging in this photo. After an hour of those typical, wonderful twists and turns I ended up reading about the Hartford Dark Blues, one of the founding teams in the current MLB National League.

Even though I left Hartford for the suburbs at age 5, I was then a bit of a baseball fan (which blossomed with the availability of playing space and teammates in Bloomfield). Parents and favorite uncle were also big baseball fans (saw my first game at Yankee Stadium at age 5 or 6 and still remember the Yankees beat the Senators by, IIR, 16-5 or so ... the 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th cemented "lucky seventh" in my head forever).

Anyway, I am amazed to just learn that the Dark Blues played at the Hartford Ball Club Grounds which were demolished well before I was born. But what is astonishing is that site was essentially right across the street from where I lived those first 5 years. And never was aware of that history.

Fortunately I do still have crystal clear memories of seeing, outside my bedroom window, that brilliant onion dome on top of the Colt Firearms plant. I thought that was Turkey or some other exotic land even though it was only about 1500 feet away.

Drippy cars

Oil drips were a fact of life with early cars. Even if gaskets were good most oiling systems were "total loss," meaning what went into the engine or transmission promptly went out of those components right onto the ground. Seals, if any, were a lot more primitive than we have today. If a crankcase got too full you would just drain it, hopefully not on the hotel's garage floor. The dirt roads absorbed oil drips (and drainings) which helped a little to keep the dust down.

The little red car to the left is a 1908 Model S Ford, the immediate predecessor to the Model T. How do I know it's red? That's the color is was offered in. The transmission was all open and hard to keep lubrication to the working parts.

I don't recognize the other two cars but the near one has some distinctive features.


That ghostly manifestation surrounding the spectre of a long-dead Runabout.

Or: a set of piston rings that really need replacing.

Well, I've exhausted that subject.

If I saw this in a hotel today, I'd stay elsewhere.

While I realize that code required construction techniques have substantially changed building construction, the fact that so many (I count four) of the main support beams are split and failing or (in one case) misaligned and no longer supporting would scare me off this hotel. And that's discounting the garage itself.

Yes, this style of construction was a firetrap, but this looks to be somewhat less than well constructed beyond that.

[The garage (below) was not part of the hotel. - Dave]

Universal Décor

I notice the same uninspired 3-lamp lighting accoutrements in the garage as in the Ladies Lounge.

I see it too

The ghostly image on the left might be smoke from an exhaust pipe. Inside it looks like a man that has an open wound in his forehead. Very "Shining" worthy.

If it doesn't leak

then it's out of oil. My first thought was of the floor of any of my friends' garages and their vintage British sports cars.

The ceiling

I can't stop looking at the ceiling!

Marks the spot

I've seen a few garage floors in my day, and I don't ever recall seeing more dribbles, drips and spots than are here in 1908.

I'm going to have to look up the date that oil pan gaskets were invented.


I can't quite make it out, any chance of a close up?


What is that ghostly image on the left? I can almost see a man's face in it. Creepy!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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