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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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Contraption From Hell: 1913

Contraption From Hell: 1913

"Auto Street Cleaner" circa 1913 in New York City. (Hello, alternate side of the street parking.) View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.


A certain resemblance

When the doors and hood are closed, bet that would double for a modern armored car or heavy duty swat vehicle.

Make way!

So I can only assume that this thing, as it churns and clangs its way down the street, must have been completely silent, which is why there's that funny little horn there. :)

But really, would the horn even be heard over the noise of that infernal contraption?

"How do I get to the Susquehanna Hat Company?"

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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