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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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The Paddy Wagon: 1919

The Paddy Wagon: 1919

Washington, D.C., 1919. "Franklin Motor Car Co. police van." The latest in law enforcement. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Something missing

I wondered what the large circle on the front of the truck was. It looks like something was missing or removed. A quick Google revealed this:

"Paddy", he sez

A term used to describe either the occupants or the operators.

This old Irish cop preferred the term "prisoner transport', but the difference was lost on the young constables.

Worra, worra.


I always thought Franklin only made idiosyncratic luxury cars with air-cooled engines and wood-reinforced frames, so this truck was a surprise. Doing a little research, I found a 1915 ad for the Franklin Commercial Car Company showing what looks like this truck minus the 'police' bodywork and mentioning its air-cooled engine, which leads me to believe it was in fact a product of the Franklin Motor Car Company (as stated). But I'm blowed if I can find any mention of trucks in the FMCC's history on line. Can one of Shorpy's resident experts relieve my confusion?

[Trucks were produced by Franklin's Commercial Division. -tterrace]

A common question amongst passengers

Anybuddy gat a knife?

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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