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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

Pretty in Pink: 1952

Pretty in Pink: 1952

Circa 1952, possibly in Indiana. Another image from Set 2 of found 35mm Kodachromes. Note the Cadillac-inspired tacked-on tailfins on the Ford, which we'll tentatively identify as a 1950 Crestliner. View full size.

1953 Indiana plates

The Indiana 1953 tab is indeed black on light green.

What are the chances...

I saw this picture and thought, "that looks an awful lot like my grandmother's front yard." Sent it to my mother remarking on the similarity.

Turns out, that is her on the bike. Her mother sewed the dress and she bought the bike from her brother's future wife.

The house is in Noblesville, IN.

[That is amazing. So that's your mother on the bike? And is this her brother below? - Dave]

Custom Crestliner

A gussied-up version of the regular Tudor sedan added late in the 1950 model year. Designed to fill in for a true "hardtop convertible" pending arrival of the Victoria for 1951. Styling by Gordon Buehrig featured a contrasting color sweep panel on the bodysides and a padded top. Priced $ 200 upstream of the Custom Tudor, which explains why sales were not impressive. A true collectible today. Nice car in its fifties decor, Dave.

The Ford

My dad had a 1950 Ford 2-door sedan, and a few years ago he gave it to my brother. That car's been in my family for more than fifty years.

1951

This picture must have been taken in 1951 since the black-on-white plates were issued that year. For 1952, a yellow tab was issued to bolt on top of the 1951 plate.

http://www.in.gov/bmv/4211.htm

[There is a tab on this one, across the bottom of the plate. It looks blue, or maybe green. - Dave]

Pretty in Pink

Great comments on the car.
The girl's bike has training wheels, which is cool.
The detail on these photos is just astounding. Every blade of grass. This image is more than half a century old. Looks like it was taken on digital yesterday.

Is the license plate a clue to the state?

Accessories

I wish I could buy some aftermarket tailfins for my car today ...

1950 Ford Crestliner

I had one of these and in this color. It was a great car. I believe only about 1400 were made.

[If memory serves, there was an article about them not too long ago in Collectible Automobile. When I was a kid, my dad had a 1950 or 51 Ford sedan. - Dave]

A familiar neighborhood

Dave, you set us up by asking about the car, when you're already the most knowledgeable guy in the room!

The housing in the area looks almost exactly like the neighborhood I grew up in: several streets of almost identical houses built quickly after the soldiers returned from WWII. I'd bet almost any town of reasonable size had a neighborhood just like this in 1950.

I Got Nuthin'

I got nuthin' here, but I gotta say, seeing Dave shoot down these grossly mistaken commenters is hilarious!

JCWhitney

The fins are aftermarket additions. Probably got them from J C Whitney catalog. The car has been "customized" as was the craze in the 50's

[The only customized parts are the tailfins. The rest is stock Crestliner. - Dave]

1950 Ford Crestliner

I love google. I'm a Chevrolet guy...

Check this out. I wish I could post the picture straight up.

http://www.oldride.com/classic_cars/330546.html

Travis

It's a Ford.

1949 or 1950 Ford. Also added vinyl (looks like cloth?) top and what appears to be Buick-style side trim.

Travis

[There was no Crestliner in 1949. The top is canvas on metal; both it and the side trim are stock. The Crestliner was Ford's stopgap answer to GM's "hardtop convertibles" of 1949. - Dave]

Beautiful photo!

Beautiful photo!

Crestliner?

Probably not. Looks like something from Henry J. Kaiser. Maybe someone can find it on Plan59. Give it a shot.

[It's a Ford Crestliner. And I run Plan59. - Dave]

Tailfins

Those are real, honest-to-goodness tailfins. There's nothing faux about them.

[They're aftermarket accessories, tacked on. - Dave]

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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