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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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Tires and You: 1942

Tires and You: 1942

Summer 1942. "Good citizenship and plain common sense. This man is performing a duty every car owner owes to himself and to our fighting men. In having his car adjusted to prevent excessive tire wear -- and in observing the simple rules that make tires last longer -- he is making a valuable contribution to our war effort. The man who wastes rubber is a poor citizen and blind even to his own personal interests." View full size. From photos by Martha McMillan Roberts, Howard Hollem, Albert Freeman and Howard Liberman for the Office of War Information.

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WWII-era social directives. . .

At least it made sense to exhort people to conserve resources during wartime, in contrast to the current social directive that NOT shopping, spending and consuming means you are unpatriotic.

May-pop tires

It was very common to reuse bald tires during and after the war. People called them tires "may pop" tires. They could pop anytime from excessive wear. When the treads began showing, they simply recapped. This was practiced well into the mid 1950s.

Late '30s Ford

This is a late 1930s Ford, judging from the transverse leaf-sprung solid front axle ... I can't tell from the photo whether the brakes are mechanical or hydraulic. Ford didn't use hydraulic brakes until the 1939 model year.

I'm guessing the car's a 1936 from the bottom of the grille and the shape of the bumper, but I could be (and likely am) wrong.

Edit - the grille's too wide to be a '36, but the width and shape look right for 1935...

Example (different angle)

That's a fine tire.

"Actually the Old Man loved it. He had always pictured himself in the pits of the Indianapolis Speedway in the 500. My old man's spare tires were only actually tires in the academic sense. They were round and had once been made of rubber."

Quote from A Christmas Story.

Our Tires, Our Selves

I adore WWII-era social directives. The guilt if you waste rubber!

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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