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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Wide Load: 1959

Wide Load: 1959

Aug. 21, 1959, somewhere in New Zealand. "Two women with four small children in a pushchair on a city street, probably Wellington." Evening Post newspaper photograph collection, Alexander Turnbull Library. View full size.

A foretaste of

airline seating in the next millennium. The most effective training begins early.

Urban Minx

Right you are. 1958 Hillman Minx Type II. Owned one just like it (they didn't do too well under our road conditions here in the States).

Three is a crowd,

but four is quite overcrowded and looking miserable!
Behave yourselves!

Trolleybus overhead

That's trolleybus overhead wiring visible in the background, so the photo could have been taken in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin or New Plymouth. There must be a Kiwi here who can identify the location! :)

My Kiwi contacts say it's definitely Wellington - possibly near the intersection of Cuba & Wakefield Streets.

Fire Alarm

The fire alarm is probably of the type that I remember as a child from the time of this photo. Many residences in NZ didn't have telephones in the decades preceding 1960, so fire alarm switch boxes were affixed to lamp posts in strategically located streets.

These metal alarm boxes were several inches in diameter, and painted red. They were connected through telephone cables to the fire station. I'm guessing that a press of the button caused a shutter to drop at the station, identifying the location.

The standard of living in NZ increased dramatically in the 1950's and the alarm boxes were withdrawn as telephones became widespread. The authorities were probably glad to be rid of them - they were a temptation to vandals and bored button pushers.

Urban Minx

The car appears to be an English made Hillman Minx 1956-59.

I'd bet money

that the two women are sisters, the kids probably cousins.

 
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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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