SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Approaching Fresno: 1939

Approaching Fresno: 1939

May 1939. "Between Tulare and Fresno. From the overpass approaching Fresno." Large-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

And from the air

Not as peaceful now. From Google Maps.

The Overpass

It seems to still be there, too! Could it be the same one from 1939? Looks sorta modern.

[It is the same one. Now South Golden State Blvd., it was US 99 when Lange took shots showing the roadway in which you can see the side railings match. Also, note these Art Deco embellishments. - tterrace]

Warehouse still standing, too!

@Splunge: The warehouse with the round roof on the right still exists as well. If you "drive" up to the water tower in Google Streetview you can see it's still standing.

The Water Tower Endures

Producers Cotton Oil Company seems to still be in existence in California, but not at this location (near Calwa). All of the old buildings seem to be gone, but the water tower still stands.
(EDIT: I stand corrected. It appears that one or more of the old buildings are also still in place. The buildings central to the photograph are gone, though.)

View Larger Map

Here's another picture of the site, from September 15, 1931 (from

The Hot Rod is born

So many things here for the Shorpy masses. Railroads, trucks, cars, water towers, mid 20th century agriculture. But above all we have the birth of the Hot Rod on the left. A truly historic occasion, right there on a random sunny day, between Tulare and Fresno. Wherever that may be.

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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