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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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Bumper to Bumper: 1942

Bumper to Bumper: 1942

May 1942. "Southington, Connecticut. Amusement park." With a dress code. Photo by Fenno Jacobs for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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These are called 'dodgems' in the UK and are certainly still a feature of travelling fairs (aka 'the shows' in Scotland).

Keeping the streak alive, sort of

Lake Compounce opened in the 1840's and has long touted itself as America's oldest continually operating amusement park. That's kinda sorta true. About 25 years ago the park was in very bad financial shape and the then-owners had no hope of running it for full seasons or getting most of the rides in operable condition. During a span of three or four years they opened it for only a few days each year to host concerts, which to their reasoning at least was enough to keep the streak alive.

Today the park's under new ownership and seems to be in relatively decent shape both physically and financially. I must add, however, that I grew up just a couple towns away from Lake Compounce and at least in my circles the general view was that the park was rather uninteresting and not really worth the money. And this was after it had recovered from the worst of its troubles. Most people would drive the extra 40 miles to Riverside Park (now known as Six Flags New England) right over the Massachusetts line, which offered far more and better attractions and wasn't that much more expensive.

Not exactly Porches

I remember driving these bumper cars at Lake Compounce as a child. (They looked like this, but dinged up almost beyond recognition.) My enduring memory is that when trying to exercise defensive or offensive moves the response from the steering wheel was, shall we say, vague. I wore my tie of course; that's simply how it was done.

[Front porch or back? -Dave]

Nyuk, nyuk. Capital "P" Dave.

Love It!

Love the picture and I loved driving those bumper cars when I was a kid.

Now Available As A Convertible

The all-new retro-styled Smart Car for 2014 with the safe-from-any-angle bumper system! The stylish front grill is removable for use in your kitchen as a cheese, cinnamon or nutmeg grater.

Old Blue Eyes

Hey ... what's Frank Sinatra doing there in the back?? ;-)

They still do this today.

This is an office staff doing team building exercises.

This is Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce is still around, but unfortunately these scooters are long gone.

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.

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