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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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Kingfish Airflow: 1935

Kingfish Airflow: 1935

Washington, D.C., 1935. "Sen. Huey P. Long." The former Louisiana governor and future assassinated senator with a shiny DeSoto Airflow. View full size.

 

Huey and the Car

Two observations:
1. While Huey looks significantly rumpled, his shoes have just emerged from the Senate shoeshine stand.
2. Parking near the Russell Building (as it is now) was a lot easier then. This looks like C Street NE, just north of the building.

What is that thing

... projecting out of the hood, just in front of the driver's section of windscreen? Some kind of deflector? Airscoop?

[The cowl ventilator, a fresh-air intake for passenger compartment air circulation, here shown open. Standard feature in cars up through the early-50s.]

According to the cognoscenti

The DeSoto, with its shorter chassis, was better suited to the proportions of the Airflow body style than its larger Chrysler cousins, resulting in an altogether more graceful product. I must admit that the distinction escapes me. The DeSoto's radiator grille seems marginally better looking, although by the end of the Airflow era, both DeSotos and Chryslers had evolved a more upright grille in a futile effort to make the cars look more "conventional" to cash-strapped Depression buyers.

Chrysler/Desoto

Did the Desoto and the Chrysler model Airflow have big styling difference? Just 700-some dollars, pretty sleek body. I recall seeing the commercial where they flew one off of a cliff.

[You are perhaps confusing the cheaper but similarly named DeSoto Airstream ($695) with the Airflow, which had an advertised price of $1,015. - Dave]

Charisma

HPL is the physical definition thereof. He is one UGLY man, yet he was adored by hundreds of thousands. Note his static position, the body language: it's upright and expansive. He's important and he knows it; and important people stand regally and take up a lot of space.

Ahead of its time

The Airflows were too drastic a design for the conservative depression era, but in seeing this excellent photo of a brand new example, it would seem they would fit right in with today's styling.

Don't Tread On Me?

That tire has the strangest tread pattern I've ever seen.

 
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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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