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About the Photos

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

California Redwoods

California Redwoods

One of many Kodachromes taken by Ruth Cooper. Behind the wheel is Lewis Cooper. View full size.

Extra clean breeze

While the Mercury "Breezeway" series was the most common use of the powered rear window, it was not the only car model that had it. We had a 1960 Lincoln with the feature, which was (I was told) the biggest domestic American car ever made. Other manufacturers experimented with the concept, including some in the 1920s and 1930s and the Packard Balboa in 1953, but Packard decided not to use the retractable feature and sold the rights to Ford. The option was used on the Lincoln Continental from 1958-1960. Sure wish I had that 1960 Lincoln still (and our 1966 Mustang).

Beautiful Car and Setting

Some friends of my mom and dad--I believe it was Rose and Charlie Tomlinson--had one of those Mercurys in black when we lived in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Our beach house got washed away in a hurricane in September, 1964, so theirs must have been the model from a year earlier.

I thought that rear window rolling down was the coolest thing I had ever seen on a car. Whether it was of any practical value was beside the point; it was awesome.

Breezeway

I was always intrigued by the reverse-slanted, powered rear window on these cars. I'd say a 1965 Mercury Monterey Breezeway, V8 390, average gas consumption of just over 10 mpg. Kudos to Ruth and Lewis Cooper for posing and photographing their car this way.

 
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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