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About the Photos

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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College Car Close-up

College Car Close-up

More classic cars in their natural habitat. The AC building at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo campus, June 1957. Highlights: choice 1956 Mercury convertible; nice shine on the 1955 Ford Customline V8 two-tone. Somebody please identify the nicely-preserved black sedan in front of the Merc. Bonus: 1950s college professor in characteristic native garb. Ektachrome slide shot by my brother. View full size.

Another Mercury

The sedan in front of the black '55 Merc convertible is also a Mercury, either a '41 or a '46-'48. Judging by its low rear stance and nice paint it is probably mildly customized. Someone's "cruiser." The white car facing it is a '57 Pontiac.


You have no idea how much time I spent in this building between 1995 and 1999. My major department was there (Materials Engineering, the low roof on the right), and I worked for Academic Computing Services / ITS, who had labs all over the building. Macs, Suns, NeXTs, PCs -- all under one roof. Suns right behind that window at center, Macs on the other side of the building, PCs to the left, and NeXTs upstairs.

Other than the fact that this was a one-way street (right to left) with angled parking, it looks just like it did when I was there, 40 years after this picture was taken.

The Air Conditioning Engineering building, Building 12, was demolished in the mid-2000s (I want to say it was 2006-7), to be replaced with the Construction Innovations Center. Materials Engineering moved north to the new Engineering Center. I think the computer labs simply went away, a casualty of progress.

My guess is:

A Volvo, judging by the taillights and front fenders.

Love the photos - always amazing!

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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