SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

VicPenn: 1943

VicPenn: 1943

March 1943. "New Orleans oil truck." Note the wings atop the tank. Medium format negative by John Vachon, Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Static Electricity

Dragging chains, and spring loaded wires sticking up from the pavement at toll booths, are no longer necessary. Modern-day tires aren't such good electrical insulators as their older versions were. Tires are now built to dissipate static electricity and keep it from building up on the vehicle.

Wasn't that a punk band?

The Inflammables, I mean. I've never seen it used in the plural like that, although when I was a kid in the '60's they seemed to be transitioning from that to "flammable." Nowadays they just run with the Hazmat placard. It reminds me of R.E. Lee's soldiers, calling themselves "Lee's Miserables."

Purpose of the smaller cans?

Would the driver be using those smaller cans to trade full for empty cans from smaller users?

I'd guess they are five-gallon capacity, and they are probably all painted red, although some are pretty beaten up.

Looks as though the rail holding them in is permanent, so maybe they were a fixture of the relatively young delivery system which was still evolving.

[See these two forum posts. -tterrace]

Safety chain

Note the anti-static grounding chain dangling under the rear of the trailer. This was common practice well into the 1950's. When a tank truck passed you could hear the chain jingling as its end dragged and bounced along the road.

Mirror? What Mirror?

Many times I have seen pictures of assorted trucks on Shorpy that sported very small outside mirrors or, more commonly, none at all. Considering the volatile nature of this truck's contents it must have not been a safety consideration during this era to have some kind of mirror on the passenger side.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.