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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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© 2014 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Telco Truck: 1928

Telco Truck: 1928

Washington, D.C., circa 1928. "Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

The lanterns

The lanterns were hung on saw horse type barricades to warn drivers and pedestrians to keep away from the work area, especially if the work involved digging holes for utility poles. Underground telephone lines were very rare back then.

The Bell Telephone Hour

This week's Guest Host: Henry Fonda.

Memories

I remember visiting my Grandfather on his Northern Wisconsin farm back in the 70's. Granted, all the vehicles he owned weren't anywhere near as old as the truck in this picture but looking at the picture and the inside of that cab, I got a whiff in my minds eye of how his farm truck use to smell. You know...that oil, leather, sweat and dirt smell?

Thanks for bringing that back to me Shorpy.

That look says

"You don't like the service, mac? Tough. We've got a monopoly."

Nattily attired

I love the pinstripe suit-jacket with the long leather gauntlets. Definitely not standard lineman threads today! I would also assume that the kerosene lanterns are not for use in manholes. (Besides consuming oxygen, they would tend to announce the presence of methane in a rather dramatic fashion.)

Options

In the 60's Pacific Telephone ordered their trucks without heaters/defrosters (they were an extra cost option). Apparently doors were optional on earlier models. No wonder this driver is well insulated - including the gauntlet gloves.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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