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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

The Car With a Longer Life: 1920

The Car With a Longer Life: 1920

March 1920. "E.J. Quinn Motor Car Co." The Westcott automobile showroom on 14th Street in Washington, D.C. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

 

Brown-Lipe and the others

Brown-Lipe manufactured transmissions -- given that most of the listings on Google are from people trying to restore vehicles, I gather the company is no longer around.

Gemmer Manufacturing made steering gears and apparently shock absorbers.

Fessers remains a mystery.

Parts bin special

Continental is an engine manufacturer. Currently best known for its aircraft engines, used in most general aviation aircraft (Cessnas, Beechcraft, etc.)

Timken is a bearing manufacturer, still highly regarded.

Delco makes a variety of automotive components, mostly electrical.

Not sure about the other suppliers.

It's interesting that this business model for automotive construction (a parent company bringing together parts from various suppliers) endures to this day. If anything is becoming even more prevalent as manufacturers seek to trim payrolls and minimize product develop costs on new cars, you're seeing more cooperative ventures between car makers and their suppliers to share these costs.

Westcott House

Westcott and his wife were forward thinking, and had a Frank Lloyd Wright house. The only "Prairie Style" Wright home in Ohio, it's open for tours.

http://www.westcotthouse.org/

Second Annual "Buy A Motor Car Week"

...and you don't even need to trade in a clunker!

Can anyone make out the sign on the building across the street, reflected in the window? It looks to me like "Child Protective [Services?]."

[You're close. It says "Ohio Delicatessen." - Dave]

The Westcott

The Westcott, produced in Richmond, Indiana, and Springfield, Ohio, between 1912 and 1925, was named for company founder Burton J. Westcott.

The Westcott was advertised as "The Car With the Longer Life." Powered by a Continental engine, it rode on at least two wheelbases -- 125 or 118 inches. In 1923 the company released a model named the Closure, a touring car with side panels that could be removed in the summer months.

Truth in Advertising

Compared to most car manufacturers in the early days, Westcott did have a longer life. It produced a little over 15,000 cars between 1909 and 1925.

Bullet holes...

Next to the door. After this visit Al Capone skipped town and went with an armored Cadillac!

The Car With a Longer Life

The E.J. Quinn Motor Car Co. moved from 1113 14th St. to 824 14th St. in 1919. Perhaps the National Photo Co. pictures were commissioned to commemorate or advertise the new location.

Are there motor-heads out there that can clarify the terms, "Continental, Timken, Delco, Brown-Lipe, Fessers, Gemmer"? Obviously, Delco still exists. I think Timken made ball bearings.

1919_westcott_auto_a

1919_westcott_auto_b

Fancy window trim

I love the fancy lace valence in the window, you don't see that sort of thing now days in window displays, or for that matter, any advertising.

Things Change

Later in this century, Shorpy will run a picture of a Pontiac-Oldsmobile dealership on a major roadway somewhere in these United States. It will not be as conservatively styled but the message will be the same: Nothing is forever.

Distorted Image

Wow ... a view of how the Wescott would look if chopped and channeled by a hot rod builder today. All you purists please don't cringe.

Theft

Well I wonder where Volkswagen got their logo from, hmmmmm...

Coincidence?

That logo for Westcott looks very much like the classic VW logo.

Maybe They Meant.....

that their logo, later adopted by Volkswagen, would have the long life!

That Logo Looks Familiar

I'm sure it's coincidence, but the Westcott auto logo looks similar to the Volkswagen logo that would be seen by the late 1930's.

Westcott's logo

The first thing that I noticed was the logo on Westcott's sign. It resembles that of Volkswagen's "V W" in a circle.

Confused identity

Well it looks like this Westcott company tried beating Volkswagen to the punch on the brand symble. Sure looks like VW to me.

VW?

I wonder if Adolf's designers were awared of the Westcott Automobiles logo, when creating the Volkswagen emblem.

 
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