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.
Vintage photos of:
Firemen and volunteers cling to the back of the Larkspur Fire Department's 1946 American-LaFrance engine as it roars down Magnolia Ave. on the way to a call one late afternoon in 1963. These days we're used to seeing firemen suited up like they were about to take a moon walk; check out the casual attire here. Only one guy even has his fireman's hat on; two of the volunteers are sporting baseball caps. Everybody else is in shirtsleeves, even the full-time guy at the wheel (although it's his official blue uniform shirt). That's our house at the very top of the frame.
The fire department had been a governmental entity only 6 years. Up until 1957, it was privately operated by the volunteers, completely funded by dances held at The Rose Bowl, an outdoor dance floor under the redwoods that featured name bands and drew crowds from all over the Bay Area each Saturday during the summer months. My Kodachrome slide.