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

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content

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

Leftward Ho: 1919

Leftward Ho: 1919

San Francisco, 1919. "Cadillac touring car at marina." Putting rubber to the road with a variety of treads. 5x7 glass negative by Christopher Helin. 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!

Formerly the Fair?

If this is Chestnut Street, would that bare land on the left have been the site of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition?

[Yes; in this area specifically, "The Zone," the area of amusement concessions. -tterrace]

It's Chestnut Street, not Bay Street.

This would be Chestnut St, which is the original 1913 route of the Lincoln Highway It was the northernmost street in this area and had a streetcar line on it. The bare land was developed into the Marina District neighborhood, with Chestnut being the main commercial strip.

[Which would place the row of similar houses in the background on the 2900 block of Van Ness Ave., where at least one of them seems to remain. -tterrace]

Scary Stuff

I used to ride motorcycles with no turn signals well into the 90's, it was always a little scary and iffy approaching turns and stops. People rarely knew about hand signals and what they meant, which made me extra cautious about turns and stops. It felt like I was riding with a big old target painted on my back.


I don't know about the rest of the country, but in West Virginia we still had to know our hand signals to pass a driving test in 1975. Many motorcycles still didn't have turn signals and believe it or not, quite a few old cars and trucks were still around with only a single stoplight. Never had to turn my palm rearward for left or right turns. Came naturally for stops though.


Note the "fat man's steering wheel," with hinged spoke, that could be swung out of the way for ease of entry.

Illegal Hand Signal

Where, in the South, I passed my driving test 67 years ago, one had to have the palm facing rearwards in hand signals. The palm was said to be lighter in color.

Hand Signals

As the owner of a 1930 roadster lacking turn signals, I can attest to the reactions of modern drivers to hand signals such as that pictured here: they wave back.

Location clue

Over on the left is the sign and tower of the Ghirardelli chocolate factory, so my guess is that we're probably on Bay St. and the empty block is an as yet undeveloped part of Fort Mason.

Good Roads Movement

At first I thought that window sticker said "Yes Cool Roads" but then I realized it's Good Roads. Here's some info:

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.