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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 • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

10,000 Bottles of Whistle

10,000 Bottles of Whistle

Washington, D.C., 1921. "Whistle car." A truck filled with Whistle, the "beverage wrapped in bottles." National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

 

Buy a Bottle from the Whistle Driver

It appears that you could go up to the truck driver and buy a bottle of Whistle directly from him if the sign below the truck cab is to be believed. Try that today with a Coke or Pepsi truck driver (or better yet, a Budweiser truck driver).

The truck is a Traffic Truck built by the Traffic Motor Truck Company of St. Louis, Missouti. A more detailed description of these trucks is shown here on Shorpy: http://www.shorpy.com/node/4014

One detail of the truck that is shown more clearly here is the opening cab windshield which may get in the way of the driver's view of the road. From this picture it appears the windshield is actually far enough forward that it would not get close enough to hit him in the face when the truck goes over a large bump in the road.

This truck, and the people, do not appear to be shown in the other picture (this truck has much more signage on the side of the body).

Note the "Traffic" logo on the side of the chassis above the drive shaft. A close up this logo is shown below.

In this side view of the truck you can still see a portion of the triangular piece on the side of the hood that also helps correctly identify these vehicles.

Thank you!

I love before and after pairs like this -- great work.

Whistle truck found!

Well not the truck, but rather the location of the photo. It seemed sensible that the site might be in the vicinity of the former Whistle Bottling Works. I finally trotted down to the location today, and sure enough, the photo of the truck was taken directly in front of the bottling plant looking across the street (400 block F street N.E.)

I still have an empty bottle

It was bottled until (at least) in the 70s in Columbus, OH by a plant located on W. Fifth Avenue near Grandview. Today, that plant is a moped shop.

They used to have around 20 flavors of Whistle, and in the early 70s they opened some satellite stores in some of the small strip malls and you could mix up a case of whatever flavors you wanted.

Thirsty? Just Whistle!

"Beverage Wrapped In Bottles"

Introduced no doubt after the "Beverage Wrapped in Waxed Paper" failed in test markets.

Whistle Beverage

Wonderful detail (as with nearly every photo). Did the fellow on the right forget his shirt collar or maybe he is just not used to wearing a tie and did not know where it went.

Arty Blur

Wonderful photo, particularly like the blur around the leaves on the tree on the right, I guess a long exposure.

Still available!

Apparently you can still buy this orange soda. It appears to have been available in other flavors as well, and first appeared in 1916.

Wet your Whistle

This is a great photo. I love the driver and his polished boots. The boy looks like he poured his Whistle on the ground.

 
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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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