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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

On the Town: 1962

On the Town: 1962

"Wisconsin plane trip." After disembarking, our mad men are painting the town Appleton Red in October 1962. 35mm Kodachrome slide. View full size.

Business in Appleton

I loved visiting Appleton in the course of business about 10-12 years ago!! Home to Cleo's Christmas themed bar-year round! And a Houdini Museum (although I understand there is some dispute as to the claim that he is from Appleton).

What a difference half a century makes

I can imagine a conversation like this:

"Hey guys, when we get back home you'll have to come over for dinner, I'll show you some slides of my kids, Kermy and Janet'

"Uh, thanks Bob but I think I have a Root Canal that day"

Flash forward to today and a bunch of total strangers are totally captivated by those same slides!

Great poses!

The gestures of the four gentlemen are terrific. They're feeling completely at ease, whatever they're about to do!

Standards of the World

My understanding was that Standard Oil of New Jersey's original "ESSO" brand name stood for "Eastern States Standard Oil," though that logical name has long since mutated into the more-corporate "EXXON." Similarly, on some vintage "Flying Horse" Mobilgas signs, you'll notice the cryptic inscription "Socony-Vacuum" at the bottom. When I was first interested in all things automotive in the 1950's, my father, a mechanic, told me the petroleum facts of life, namely that the first part of Mobil's subtitle meant "Standard Oil Company Of New York."

For many years we Buckeyes had the most state-specific Standard Oil brand of all, the beloved "SOHIO" (an exclusive granted possibly in recognition of John D. Rockefeller having founded Standard in Cleveland.) Sadly, Sohio was taken over by multinational BP 20-some years ago, and I miss seeing the Sohio logo on our corner stations. Interestingly, all of the traditional Standard Oil divisions used a red, white, and blue clor scheme for their logos and structures, though the shades of red and blue varied by company.

Standard Oil Question

Hi, wxman1--

Interesting post. I've always thought that the old Esso brand name meant S-O as in Standard Oil. I seem to remember that the backs of the Standard Oil credit cards way back when had a slough of different logos where the cards were accepted, and I thought that they were all part of Standard Oil.

I think Humble Oil was another one of those brands; they all had similar logos.

I guess they're all Exxon nowadays.

["Esso" dates to before the breakup of Standard Oil in 1911. Thereafter, several companies nationwide were variously entitled to use the brand names. - tterrace]

Rocket 88!!!

Hey, VictrolaJazz--

With your moniker you probably are also aware of what some consider the first rock 'n' roll song: Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats' Rocket 88, recorded by Sam Phillips in Memphis in 1951 and issued on Chess:
You may have heard of jalopies,
You heard the noise they make,
Let me introduce you to my Rocket '88.
Yes it's great, just won't wait,
Everybody likes my Rocket '88.

Sidewalk Clock

McCook Nebraska had a clock on the curb nearly the same as the one in the background. The advertisement that went with it was" Sutton jewelers by the time clock on the curb." I loved the way the downtown areas looked in the 50's and 60's.

The Dynamic 88

The 1960 Rocket 88 Oldsmobile was still in its heyday, one of the most ubiquitous cars of the era! Two friends and I drove a blue and white one to the National Olds Meet in Milwaukee in 1981. I ran us out of gas coming back into Dallas on Central Expressway on the last day of the trip. Hard to believe this oldest of names just faded away.

Standard Oil Company

You can see a Standard Oil gas station behind the guy on the right. In some states back then, the emblem was the same but would say "American." Both were predecessors to Amoco, which of course is now owned by BP.

Like a Movie

This brings to mind 2011's "Cedar Rapids."

OK, boys, let's agree on one thing right now.

Whatever happens in Appleton STAYS in Appleton!

I can hear it now

Most of these men are probably telling the cameraman to cheese it because their wives actually thought they were travelling to do "business."

Perspective

Taken on the other side of the street from the earlier photo, with the camera pointed in the opposite direction.

 
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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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