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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Ask the Man Who Owns One: 1942

Ask the Man Who Owns One: 1942

Washington, D.C. "At 7 a.m. on June 21, 1942, the day before stricter gas rationing was enforced, cars were pouring into this gas station on upper Wisconsin Avenue." If they still made cars that looked like this Packard, we'd run right out and buy one. Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

The Packard plant

The Packard plant does still exist but is in shambles due to years of neglect, vandalism and scrappers stripping out the steel for salvage. It is in very sad shape. Here's a neat slideshow comparing the old and present day plant from the same angles. Slide your mouse pointer over the pic and it will change from old to new.

No A/C on that Packard.

The 1940 Packard was the first car with factory air conditioning.

Corn Stalks in DC?

Notice the small corn stalks in the lower left. Perhaps fresh corn is sold in front of the service station in late summer and some seeds that fell took root. Still a bit early in the war for Victory Gardens.

McDowell Bros.

Founded by A. Lynn and Julian McDowell. 5252 Wisconsin Ave. N.W. Now a parking garage.

Or the woman!

I would LOVE to own a Packard, preferably a late Fifties model or one of the earlier hand-built ones. Glorious cars.

She's a Packard Clipper

The pictured car is a Packard Clipper, most likely a 1942 model. As Dave suggests, the looks of this vehicle are very pleasing to the eye, particularly from the front. Unfortunately the car’s design history is inconclusive, though it’s clear Dutch Darrin played a role. Given his coach building work with Packard during the 30s, Darrin’s participation seems logical. George Walker is also credited with being on the design team. My father had 1946, 1948, 1951 and 1953 Packards, and as a lad I loved those cars as much as he did. The 53 was a Patrician 400 with a midnight blue roof and powder blue lower body. Beeee-u-ti-fullll, she was. In what I like to think of as a defiant flipping off of what the auto industry has become, Albert Kahn’s Packard plant still stands today on Detroit’s east side, a fitting legacy to a great car and a great architect.

 
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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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