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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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A Couple of Cads: 1919

A Couple of Cads: 1919

San Francisco circa 1919. "Cadillac touring car and sedan." Touring a veritable wonderland of chalk art. 5x7 glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.

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The car on the left was previously shown here. This is one of the two touring cars models Cadillac sold in 1919. Both models were on the same 125 inch wheelbase, but one had jump seats and sat seven instead of four passengers. Both were priced at $2,805, and the standard colors were Cadillac Blue with black trim. The dealer license plate indicates the car was being sold by Don Lee Cadillac shown here.

The second cars looks like a Convertible Victoria. The side window glass and center door post could be removed to create a semi-open car. This car was also on the 125 inch wheelbase and cost $3,205.


Are the two gents in the touring car twins?

New cars but old tires

Can't help but notice how worn the tires are on these apparently new vehicles. The front ones on the car on the right don't even match. I don't think that "optional" bumper on the coupe is really going to stop much. It's interesting to note that even on high end cars like Cadillacs there are rows of rivets along the edges of the hood. Auto designers today go out of their way to hide fasteners to the point it is sometimes difficult to figure out how to remove a piece for repair.

Board Fence

This is the definitive modelbuilder's reference for a board fence. They were common within my memory, and my wife remembers them too. You still see a few in old western PA towns.

Note that some kid dragged chalk the length of the fence.

Reproducing the faded "HORP" sign on the fence between the cars would be a modeling challenge.

Yes, Good Riders?

That appears to be the message displayed within the diamond-shaped decal on the passenger side windshield.

What, pray tell, would be the meaning of that display?

[It's "Yes Good Roads," a slogan in support of a 1919 California ballot proposition for a $40,000,000 bond issue to fund state highway construction. It passed. -tterrace]


I always admired the top coat finish on these cars. A mirror finish not displayed these days.


Strange to see these two elegant, up-scale vehicles placed in a very humble neighborhood (with its ubiquitous chalk markings) as opposed to the previous auto portraits "uptown".


Are you sure this isn't Oakland? Those two beauties look like they're just about to try to merge, the hard way.


Not the most Cadillacky of neighborhoods.

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.

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