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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Niagara Falls: 1958

Niagara Falls: 1958

Shot taken using 35mm Kodachrome on the Canadian side of the Falls in 1958. Note the array of British and French cars among the American classics in the parking lot. Today, only tour buses are allowed in this area. The movie "Niagara," starring Marilyn Monroe, filmed the motel scenes (temporary props) off to the left of the picture at the gorge edge in 1954. View full size.

Hillmans

Had a '57 Hillman Minx convertible back in '59; not super quick, but dashing in it's own way. Drove to Toronto and back from D.C.. 3 position top, snazzy.

The Hillman

I'm amazed anyone else remembers the Hillman. That could almost be my brother's. He bought it used in '65 and I think it spent more time in my folks' garage than it did on the road. I remember using the crank start more often than not and that you could use a dime instead of a key to turn on the ignition. It was such a wreck that he'd often borrow my old '57 Studebaker Scottsman for dates.

Niagara

This isn't a tour bus only area now, they just charge you to park here. The motel scenes in the movie "Niagara" were filmed in Queen Victoria Park which is to the right of this perspective. To the immediate left is the Rainbow Bridge. This is the area of the former Canadian terminus of the Honeymoon Bridge which collapsed in heavy ice conditions in January 1938.

Brown Is Brown

That '53 Chrysler New Yorker on the left sports the only brown auto paint I ever thought looked good. My father had a '53 Imperial in that shade, and it was a dignified alternative to the normal conservative black yet far more stately than the washed-out pastel blues and greens prevalent on so many Cadillacs.

Poorly Parked

It's interesting to see that poor parking is not just a modern phenomenon. One person parks over the line and it affects half a dozen others.

From left to right it looks like we have:

1. Buick 1951 (Special?)
2. Chrysler 1953 New Yorker
3. Hillman circa 1953/54 Minx Convertible Coupe
4. Ford 1951 with a '54 Pontiac grille inset
5. Chevrolet 1957 Bel Air Convertible
6. Chevrolet 1953 210
7. Renault Dauphine 1956-58
8. Edsel 1958
9. Ford 1949-53 Prefect
10. Chevrolet 1957 210 Coupe
11. Ford 1952 Mainline Tudor or Business Coupe

Behind the last two cars are:
12. Likely a DeSoto 1957 (yellow)
13. Probably a Chevrolet 1955 (black)

The lady walking in the black dress along the wall behind the '57 Bel Air looks out of place with such a short dress on compared to the other woman in the photo.

Rare Edsel

One of the first of the '58 model year (to the right of the Renault Dauphine).

Recently

This is a photo, not street view, from Google Maps.

Prospect Point

This is the first photo I've seen that clearly shows the aftermath of the fall of Prospect Point, which occurred on Wednesday, July 28, 1954. It appears as a large, smooth, angled area at the left edge of the American Falls in this view. My parents and I were there five days before the collapse (as shown in this old color slide). That's Dad and me at the railing. The people in the background are standing in the area that fell, and I guess we are, too. Trouble was already brewing. When we took the elevator down to the bottom of the falls there were cracks in the concrete walls and water all over the floor. The next Saturday I went to the movies with my friends and the actual fall was in the newsreel. Quite a thrill for me, to think that I might have been standing there when it happened. Predictably, my buddies blamed me for the fall of Prospect Point, because according to them I was so "fat." ...HA!

Those European cars.

In the parking line: a black Ford Pilot (?) third from the right. Two to the left of it a grey Renault Dauphine with the roof rack and a suitcase. Nice green Hilman Minx drophead third from the left.

The Minx was never a very sporty car, but in close proximity to the 'Yank Tanks' it looks positively rakish.

Subjective

It's funny that in 1958 the photographer thought his subject was the falls. Now all these years later we know the subject is the cars!

Kustom Kar

The white Ford, fourth from the left, sports a '54 Pontiac grille, a common custom modification at the time. Spiffy.

 
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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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