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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Seedsto Day: 1939

Seedsto Day: 1939

January 1939. "Funeral ambulance parked under gin shed. Mound Bayou, Mississippi." Photo by Russell Lee, Farm Security Administration. View full size.


Hybrid Hearse

This hearse is comprised of components from multiple different automobiles. It is definitely not a Lincoln from 1934 as suggested below.

The grille appears to be from a 1930 Lincoln or earlier as 1931 and later grills had a slight bow to the front. The 1934 Lincoln grille was body colored.

The hood doors on Lincolns had straight sides only in 1932, and these hood doors don't look like they were produced by Lincoln. The 1934 Lincoln hood doors were canted towards the back of the car. The 1930, 1931 and 1933 Lincolns didn't use hood doors.

The wheels and hub caps are from a 1931 Lincoln, at the latest. The 1932 - 1934 hub caps covered the bolts and lug nuts that hold the wheels to the axle. The painted black circle detail on the hub caps was only used in 1931.

Although the front fender looks close to those manufactured by Lincoln in 1934, it lacks the minor upsweep that went from the driver's door towards the front wheel. In general, the front fender looks too big and seems out of place. The parking light is also missing from the fender. The rear fender does not look like a Lincoln fender from any year.

The height of the chassis cover plates, the area between the bottom of the doors and the top of the running boards which was quite large in 1930, provides another clue that the chassis is not from 1934.

The funeral director

The hearse belongs to Powell's Funeral Home of Mound Bayou.

The hearse

The hearse appears to be a McCabe-Powers body modification of a 1934 Lincoln KB, making it about five years old when this photo was taken.

Based on the slight sag in the rear end and the visible compression in the rear tire, I'm wondering if the rear compartment was occupied at the time. It might just be aging suspension and a slightly underinflated tire, but you never know...

Good Eye

The Case of the Missing Door Handle. It's the wee details that are the real charm of SHORPY. That hearse looks quite well taken care of except for that little detail.

The Presleys of Mississippi

Seem to all be related quite closely. Anglicized from the name Bresslar they settled first in NC, then TN, and finally MS. There were related Bresslars, Presslars, Pressleys, and Presleys so it is easy to differentiate between the branches of Elvis' family.

This information comes from an Australian website (figures, don't it?).

I have to ask

Any relation to someone famous from Tupelo, Mississippi?

Get a Handle on It

I guess the Funeral Car driver had to enter the vehicle from the passenger side.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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