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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Jam-Parked: 1941

Jam-Parked: 1941

July 1941. "Parking lot, Chicago." This would look nice in color. 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

Just couldn't resist!

Here I go....
Starting from upper left,
1941 Chevy
Middle left
1940 Chevy,1939 Chevy, 1941 Pontiac Streamliner, 1940 Chevy, 1941 Olds,1941 Chevy, 1941 Dodge
Lower left,
Appears to be 1940 Olds, 1941 Olds, 1940 Buick, 1941 Plymouth, 1940 Dodge, 1940 Hudson, 1940 Buick, 1940 Chevy,1940 Buick
Next row,
1941 Pontiac Metropolitan (Beautiful), 1940 Olds, 1939 Studebaker, 1940 Chevy, 1941 Chevy Fleetline, 1941 Buick, 1940 Buick, 1940 Mercury, 1941 Ford
Next row,
1940 Dodge, 1940 Chevy, 1941 Pontiac, 1941 Plymouth, 1940 Pontiac, 1940 Chevy, 1940 Hudson

Wish I knew why these cars were parked the way they were, but oh well.
Would welcome any corrections or comments.
Current value of any one of these cars in their condition as shown, $20,000 to $50,000 from low end models to high end models.

Running Board Advantage

While visualizing the process of extracting these cars at quitting time, it occurred to me that external running boards had an advantage in that the doors are setback into the body. If modern cars were parked this closely, cheek to jowl, their doors couldn't be opened.

They're all late-model

I don't see anything older than 1939 here. Must be the parking lot of the rich.

People love the cars

And all I can do is panic at the thought of being in the middle of the parking lot trying to get out. If you guessed that I am claustrophobic, you would win the prize. After I could breathe again (slight exaggeration) I had fun looking at the cars. Good photo, Dave!!

Hello.

Excuse me, that's my '41 Olds on be bottom left. Can you let me out please? I have to go now.

Challenge for Car Spotters

This would be an interesting challenge for car spotters. I cannot get as many as I should, '48 Ford Tudor next to a '40 Mercury coupe at the top right for starters. I think that pair of two-toned cars to their left are both '40 Buicks. Also a nice late '40s Pontiac Sedanet (today we would call it a fastback) on the left.

Also interesting, any grouping of 30 cars of this era today would include a preponderance of convertibles, not a soft top in the bunch here!

[This photo was made in 1941, so we don't see late-'40s anything. - Dave]

Waste Not Want Not

Without a doubt this parking lot is operated by attendants whose job it is to utilize every square inch of available real estate.

Curious

Not a SUV in the bunch!

Well Positioned

All these wonderful cars aside, thanks for slipping the Shorpy badge into the empty parking slot. Well done. Vachon really like these high angle shots. It would be interesting to see these gems in colour and to see how many can be identified.

It is

It is in color, isn't it?

The Big Split

Not a curved piece of glass in the bunch, nor a single one-piece windshield. A transition point. All windshields are split, two angled pieces of flat laminated glass. Sexy curves still restricted to the sheet metal.

[Several of these cars have curved backlights. - Dave]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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