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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Soda Stop: 1908

Soda Stop: 1908

Circa 1908. "Seeing Chicago. Auto at Monroe Street near State." Our second glimpse of these Windy City tourists. Photo by Hans Behm. View full size.

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Interesting class contrast.

I could not help noticing the well-fed, well dressed boy sitting in the back of the tourist car while behind him is a boy about the same age working as a messenger. It is a reminder of the extreme contrasts of that age.

1910 Chicago City Directory

Here are the first two entries under Confectioners in the 1910 Chicago City Directory.

Rapid Model D

This is a circa 1906-08 Rapid Model D 132, 12-Passenger Car, as made by the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan. It cost $1,800 and was less luxurious and passenger friendly than their Model D 170, 12 Passenger Pullman, which cost $700 more.

The 132 Car weighed 3,050 pounds and was powered by a 22-24 hp, horizontal two cylinder water-cooled engine mounted in the center of the frame, just under the floor. It had two speeds forward and one reverse, feeding the power through a jackshaft and Brown - Lipe differential, and on to the double side chain drive. The solid rubber tires were 32 by 3 inch and the wheels rode on Timkin bearings front and rear. The wheelbase was 90 inches, and standard equipment included two side lights, a searchlight (the socket for which can be seen at the top of the dash), tail light, horn, and a full set of tools.

Other Model D offerings included 16, 20 and 25-passenger vehicles, as well as delivery vans and one-and-a-half ton trucks.

Started in 1902 by the Grabowsky brothers, the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company was taken over by General Motors a year after the picture above was taken. They turned Rapid into the GMC Truck division in 1912.

Here's an ad from 1908 for the more expensive Pullman:

Rapid Pullman

Bumpy ride

Solid rubber tires on cobblestone streets. Hope the old people held their mouths closed , or risk losing their teeth to the rattling.

I scream

Can just imagine hot sundaes in here.


Wow, they really went crazy with the drop shadow on the signs above the awning.

Oh wait, that's a real drop shadow and I bet it moves as the day progresses too.

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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