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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CHRISTMAS PRINTS

Follow the Light: 1933

Follow the Light: 1933

"Nash showroom, San Francisco, 1933." Where selling points include the Worm-Drive Axle and a center headlight that turns with the steering wheel. 5x7 inch dry plate glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.

 
On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Citroen DS21

I owned a '68 for a year or so in Tunisia. Not only did the headlights track with the steering wheel, but, as I recall, they also adjusted to passenger distribution by pitching lower when the rear end sank and the front end rose. Remarkable vehicle: superb technology, mediocre engineering, and horrible materials. Go like the devil, though.

Terrific Tile

The showroom floor is simply magnificent.

Wow! That's a Doosey!

Wow, nice lookin' car for a working man's price; my first thought when I looked at the photo was Duesenberg.

Not to be pushed?

Did that worm drive rear axle make this Nash resistant to getting a push start if the battery was low? These were substantial, quality automobiles nevertheless.

Citroen DS

The Citroen DS also has swivelling headlights. They were made from 1955 to 1975. Having driven one, I can assure you, at times, it was a very useful addition.

That center mounted headlight

In the 1960s, there was a Tucker Car on display at Sutro Baths in SF. They heavily pumped its "revolutionary" features, including a center-mount headlight that tracked as the steering wheel was turned.

Guess Tucker wasn't so original.

The missing link

Well the headlight is tuned the same direction as the wheels, but how?

The link doesn't seem to be connected to anything?

[Not at the moment. It's a setup like the one seen here a few weeks ago, on a 1931 Cadillac. Pivoting headlights and fog lamps had their moment as an aftermarket accessory in the 1920s and '30s. - Dave]

Works like magic

The headlight linkage doesn't even connect to the steering linkage.

I'll give them benefit of the doubt and say they probably did that so customer could have a better demonstration of it in operation.

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | 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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