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.
Vintage photos of:
"K & W Tire Co., Rainier truck." 1919. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size. "Under the name of the K-W. Tire Company, William A. Ward and W. Killeen have opened a distributing agency in Washington for Pennsylvania vacuum cup tires and ton-tested tubes at 924 14th Street N.W."
1920 or 1921. "Lexington. Pike's Peak car." One of two Lexington racecars that placed first and second in the 1920 Pike's Peak hill climb seen at 1020 Connecticut Avenue N.W., the Washington branch of Hummer Motor Sales Company. E. Adie Hummer, Manager. View full size. National Photo Company glass negative.
In 1957 I was chosen to be a model for the Oklahoma Semi-Centennial publicity photos. I was 5 and had to wear a fishbowl for a space helmet. View full size.
The car and the photo that started it all: my life-long vicarious love affair with gigantic cars with huge fins. By age 9 I was already a car nut; I cut out pictures from magazine ads and pasted them in a spiral notebook; I amazed family and friends by my ability to identify every car make. Then one day in November 1955 I saw it: this bronze chariot of the gods, a 1955 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, parked in, of all places, a mud lot near Boardwalk #3 in Larkspur, Calif. I made my brother take this Kodachrome, then later came back and photographed it myself in black and white - just the rear end. Immediately I stopped drawing Flash Gordon rocket ships and began designing my own cars - the Pac-Ply and the Zorch. I began pestering my father to take me to GM Motorama when it arrived to San Francisco. Strangely, when it came time to trade in the '48 Hudson in 1956, the car I pestered him to buy was a Rambler station wagon. I guess I realized these cars were not for mere mortals. View full size.