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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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Fill Er Up: 1940

Fill Er Up: 1940

July 1940. "Auto of migrant fruit worker at gas station in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc." Photo by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Model A Bumper

Looks like the a modified rear bumper for a Model A ford


Note the stop light on car consists of a single lamp cyclops bulb with the words STOP cast into the metal.

I agree that the back panel looks hand-made; a prototype limousine perhaps?

[For the upscale migrant worker market? Also, the "STOP" is glass as well. - tterrace]

beer can gas cap

In all my years of pumping gas and laying various versions of improvised gas caps on the car, I recognize the beer can nesting temporarily on the rear window. Hard times indeed.

Homemade Camper?

Impossible to say with any certainty what kind of car this is (for me, anyway), since the rear end is obviously modified with some sort of hand-fabricated panel. It looks to me like it might be hinged, ala the rear end of a teardrop trailer, so that you could cook, etc., under its shelter.

Since they were in Sturgeon Bay, they were there to pick cherries. There are worse ways to make a living as a migrant worker than camping in Door County, Wisconsin, and picking cherries!

I dont think he's pumping Ethyl

Migrant fruit pickers could probably only afford Ethyl's sister, Regular.

Early RV?

We have all seen pix of the typical "Okie" and his car. Mattresses, pots and pans, washboards etc. strapped willynilly to a worn out old heap. This car was well thought out and built, with it's extension at the rear which may have allowed sleeping in the car or keeping valuables out of the weather

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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