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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 • PAN AMERICAN TO GUATEMALA, 1938

Gasolene Gospel: 1937

Gasolene Gospel: 1937

August 1937. "Gas station and gospel mission in Cleveland, Ohio." In addition to Koolmotor "Gasolene," a long-defunct Cities Service brand, we also seem to have at least a couple of the major food groups represented here, as well as two verses from the New Testament. Photo by John Vachon. View full size.

 

That lounge chair

That lounge chair intrigues me. What an odd position to put a chair like that. I realise the angle and camera standing adds to the visual illusion, but to me, it remains strange placement.

Shorpy Truck

Shorpy truck on the left. Filled with large format glass negatives, waiting for the internet.

Pack 'em in

I like the painted lines on the walls for spacing the night parking.

The March of Time Will Now Take a Short Break

Living for a while some 164 blocks East of this scene and nine years later, I found similar cars to be common sights during my daily wanderings. The three-year hiatus in passenger car production during WWII, coupled with delays in getting Detroit reconfigured after war production, meant that many cars of the '30s soldiered on for some time after peace broke out. I recall finding cars with "lights that stick out" preferable to more modern ones ... and I suspect that I still do.

The Auditorium

I presume the Auditorium Hotel received that name because it was located across the street from the Public Auditorium, which is part of downtown Cleveland's Group Plan designed by Daniel Burnham. The Auditorium Hotel is gone, but the site had another hotel, which is now getting a major re-work in anticipation of the reopening later this year of the downtown convention center after its own major overhaul. A corner of Public Auditorium can be seen in the upper right corner, showing the word "CONCEIVED" as part of the sentence inscribed on the building.

[“A Monument Conceived as a Tribute to the Ideals of Cleveland, Builded by Her Citizens and Dedicated to Social Progress, Industrial Achievement and Civic Interests” - tterrace]

Wheels "O" Rollin

You've got to love those old trucks.

Well Ethyl

is standing right next to the Koolmotor gas pump. Looks like their glass globes are canted toward each other and they're carrying on a conversation. Koolmotor is asking, "Is your name really Ethyl?"

I love old gas stations.

Looks like all the "night parking" is filled up and it's only 5 minutes to 3.

Bible verse

In response to Jim Page's comment, the verse sounds odd now, but remember that several of today's most popular Bible translations hadn't even been written in 1937.

On a different note, I can't be the only one here who wouldn't mind paying a visit to the ice cream truck on the bottom left.

Amazing Photo!

Again, Shorpy whisks us away to another time and place. In a flash, it's 1937. Thanks Shorpy!

Three times three slices of bread.

Why not an even number, so you don't wind up stuck with half a sandwich.

Terminal Tower

Peeking over the building in the upper left corner.

My Cliffordville

Yes, I think I have found it. But with a happier ending, please.

All Closed Cars

What I love about these pics are the old cars in their natural surroundings. Gather a group of cars of this era today and there will be a preponderance of open cars. Twenty-one cars in this pic and not a one of them an open car!

Way Kool!!!

This photo is just begging for colorizing! What a scene!

And I want that panel truck!

But does that second Bible verse read oddly to anyone else? I was expecting it to be "those" instead of "them." I suppose that's the King James Version of the text, which usually sounds so wonderful to my ear.

Hotel Auditorium

Wonderful photograph!

From the web site, Cleveland Memory, regarding the Hotel Auditorium: The Hotel Auditorium is Cleveland's newest hotel in the downtown section, and is directly across from the famous Cleveland Public Auditorium.

It was located at East 6th Street and St. Clair Avenue and apparently opened in 1930. Wonder what the difference was between a two dollar and a two dollar and a half room.

[If the Hotel Auditorium had an auditorium, things could get super confusing. - Dave]

Intersection today

The warehouse across the street is still standing, though the facade has been updated. Otherwise the intersection is quite different.


View Larger Map

Missing Billboard

"Pray And Get Gas"

English Teacher's Nightmare

Gasolene. Kool. Thru. Towards. No wonder the kids today can't spell.

 
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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