SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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

Trash Crash: 1959

Trash Crash: 1959

Oakland, California, circa 1959. "Garbage truck accident." With lots of vintage unsorted refuse destined for the landfill or incinerator. Or, in this case, your front lawn. 4x5 acetate negative. Who can ID the neighborhood? View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


This neighborhood is known as the Laurel District.

What a difference 56 years makes!

The garbage then would have had several differences with what most people throw away now. It would have been much less, overall. There would have been much less actual food, little or no fast-food refuse, and any clothing, toys, or appliances would have actually been unrepairable.

Chevy vs Ford

Must have been a "See the USA in your Chevrolet" neighborhood. They outnumber Fords 4 to 1.

Chevy vs Ford

Must have been a "See the USA in your Chevrolet" neighborhood. They outnumber Fords 4 to 1.

Open container

There's a 16 ounce can of Lucky Lager on the sidewalk; clearly alcohol was a factor.

That is One Mangled Truck!

That truck's front end took a tremendous impact!

Take a close look at the position of the truck's left front wheel. Then note that the front axle leaf springs are no longer parallel to the chassis rails.

The left chassis rail has a "jog" in it, but whether this is accident damage or part of the truck's design, I cannot say.

I'd call it a total loss.


I like how this is a picture of a man taking a picture. I'm guessing the newspaperman and the police officer were working the scene at the same time.

[Wow. - Dave]

I have spent years looking at that tank.

Near 98th Avenue, Golf Links road?

I lived on Hillside. Went to E.Morris Cox school.

Midvale and Wisconsin

ElViejo has it exactly right — google street view confirms the photo is looking south toward the intersection of Midvale and Wisconsin, Oakland 94602.

White Cab-Over

That is a '50s vintage White cab-over. They were once extremely common, at least in the Midwest.

Here is an example of one. Note the matching "character line" on the cab side. Many more examples on this page.

Apparently it ran away on the steep hill. The driver probably ditched it to avoid a much worse disaster.

Distinctive Form Factor

Owing to the shape of the door's window, I believe that the truck in question is a White 3000. Note the short, downward-pointing exhaust. They were quite loud.


Dig that crazy texture on the driveway's concrete surface. Hopefully kids with skateboards didn't live there at some point.

Fruitvale District?

I think we're somewhere between Fruitvale Avenue and High Street, up the hills a bit, and looking west at the Estuary and Alameda in the smog.

What has 6 wheels and flies?

Oh, wait. What has 6 wheels and rolls?

Carriage Carnage

Trashed Truck

Dually Disaster

Tilted Tonka

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.