SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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

Cab Noir: 1942

Cab Noir: 1942

        The "Sky-View" taxi was a long-wheelbase DeSoto sedan with a plexiglas sunroof.

1942. "New York. Negro taxi driver. Story dealing with the life of Negroes in New York, their professions, occupations, and recreational activities." Photo by Albert Fenn for the Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

1941 in 1942

The De Soto pictured is actually a 1941. The 1942 Sky-Views had a totally different central roof light than the 1941 Sky-Views. This new lighting system was only used in 1942.

The smaller rooftop lights shown on the Shorpy cab were red, and the cabbie turned them on to indicate the cab was occupied. The 1940 and earlier De Soto Sky-View cabs had door handles below the belt line, so this must be a 1941.

Photos of both 1941 and 1942 Sky-Views are below.

Dreamy look

He is probably listening to Make Believe Ballroom on WNEW.


Such a dreamy, faraway look in this man’s eyes. As a former cabby myself, I expect to see in a taxi driver’s face a look of short-term intensity, rabid hunger, a scrutiny of the up close and loadable. Certainly not this misty gaze. There’s hope yet.

Cab Fab

If NYC's taxis looked this good today, and had these rates, I would NEVER walk.

De Soto Sky View

De Sotos of that year featured disappearing (actually, covered) headlamps, a styling innovation unique among mass-produced cars of the time and perhaps the first attempt to disguise those necessary features on a popularly-priced car. (The nearly hand-built Cord 810s and 812s were the first, but their price and the small number built made them a decidedly luxury ride).

Unfortunately, in February 1942 almost all production of civilian vehicles was halted to clear the lines for defense work. When Detroit revamped its '42 models for the '46 model year, De Soto's unique headlamp treatment was abandoned.

SHORPY OLD 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 | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.