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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 Body Shop: 1924

The Body Shop: 1924

Washington, D.C., or vicinity, 1924. Exhibit C in the Case of the Battered Buick -- our third photo with the caption "Max Wiehle" and our second look at this tattered Model T, which we can now see is at a "Repair Shop Garage." Where the mechanics seem to be following the baseball scores. View full size.

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The driver of this car

Probably ended up at the other body shop -- the morgue.

T Totaler

Let's see. Even at $2, $5, or $10 for some of the parts, I see a lot of stuff that needs to be replaced to fix this car (i.e. windshields, top irons, fabric roof, steering wheel, hood, front axle, radiator, radiator surround, headlight, fender, etc.). The driver door area is a mess and that isn't even a door, but part of the body. A new Model T touring car in 1924 was around $290, so I would guess that this car would be totaled. Did they have collision insurance then? Or if they did, would a Model T owner pay for it? I guess maybe this car was in line to actually be repaired.

In Those Days

They had stronger breastbones.

The steering spokes are the only thing that separates this accident from "car hits tree" and "tree falls on car!"

Looks like the repairs are underway, judging from the bolts and castle nut or maybe a bearing on that running board.

Distracted driving

Can't blame this one on Texting.


It doesn't look that bad from this angle, Dave. Coupla days and it'll be good as new, maybe better.

Oh, they had crumple zones, all right

Just like cars of today except back then the crumple zone consisted of your jaw and all of your teeth. I'm amazed the wood spokes on both front wheels look OK but they most likely were not caught up in the collision.

Shows what 87 years will do for you.

A late model car in this shape today is totalled. A Model-T car in this shape today is going to be restored, and will somehow live on.

[On the other hand, a modern car in the same collision wouldn't be in this shape. - Dave]

Not the Good Ol' Days

As much as I love vintage cars (and these shots), automotive safety has come a long way since these days. I can't imaging smacking that steering column at any speed.

As Advertised

Handyman special.

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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