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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Traffic Cam: 1915

Traffic Cam: 1915

"Woman in automobile circa 1915." From of a series of pictures showing National Photo owner Herbert E. French and friends on motor excursions in the D.C. area. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The car

Pretty sure this is an early (1912-1913) Detroiter Automobile.


"Don't you dare take my picture right now! We've been on the road all day and I look like heck!"

Good thing she had no way of knowing that people would still be looking at this nearly a century later!

Just discovered

She just found out the car has no CD player - what a piece of junk!


Anyone embarking on a long-distance trip was well-equipped with tools and expecting to make repairs. Roughly speaking, one breakdown per trip was the norm.

Betty Sue needs a dentist

Kinda cute and feisty but look at those teeth. I have those lamps and Prestolite tank on my 1917 Buick



There is quite a contrast between this one and Soccer Mom of 1908 from 2 days ago -- setting, cleanliness of the car, demeanour of the driver -- this one looks much more real.

Road rage?

The lady appears to be majorly annoyed about something. Probably because the men wouldn't stop and ask for directions.

A car in its natural environment

Looking at all these fine pictures, I can't help comparing the dirty, mud-covered cars with the pristine specimens in today's museums, and realize that cars back then were not pristine and always clean, but covered in mud and dust. A very interesting contrast. I can hardly imagine what it was like to make a long-distance trip in one.

Gas lamps?

That looks like an acetylene bottle on the running board. If that's true, then the headlights have been converted from using calcium carbide to produce acetylene, to being fed from the bottle.

Interesting. I wonder why. Longer running time? More consistent flame/light?

[Convenience and reliability. Prestolite-style pressure tanks began replacing carbide generators around 1906. By the early teens they were standard equipment on many, if not most, cars with acetylene headlamps. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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