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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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Poised to Pounce: 1939

Poised to Pounce: 1939

July 1939. "Rooftop parking, Washington, D.C." Pedestrians look left, right, and up. Medium format negative by David Moffat Myers. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Hadn't Noticed The DeSoto

I was born in October 1945 so there must have been some of the Airflows around but only remember them in the cartoons. I think it was the Airflow that had soft motor and transmission mounts to reduce vibrations. Chrysler called it "Floating Power" and the cartoons depicted it as the motor sitting in a pool of water.

To the tune of "Jingle Bells:"

"Floating power,
Floating power,
Floating all the way..." :-)

Very Scary!

Imagine you are the driver of the car parked on the corner of the building. You open the door and encounter 18 inches of roof to walk on between your car and a 3 story fall to your death! Eek!


How did they get up there? There must be an elevator or ramp in the unseen area, possibly that open door is a clue.

Also, it must be a fairly new lot, no oil stains visible in the empty spots.

[The is the old Emerson & Orme Buick dealership. Showroom below (note the signs -- We've Moved), service garage in the taller building. - Dave]

A workout to park

It must have been a real challenge to maneuver these cars on a roof considering there was no power steering and they were all stick shifts. Especially those parked up next to a wall.

Just plain scary

I wouldn't want to be the driver who parked on the edge of that roof. Looks like only inches of clearance to the very edge and a low knee wall. One slight slip and its over for sure. Likewise, you better hope your brakes are good or over the front you go. I'd rather take the bus.

Drop-nose De Soto

Just about dead center on the roof is what appears to be a Desoto Airflow, smaller and less common than the Chrysler version. It had a shorter wheelbase and, some thought, a more pleasing physiognomy than the Chrysler's.

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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