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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 • LAKE GARDA, ITALY

Shade Tree Mechanics: 1920

Shade Tree Mechanics: 1920

Prince George's County, Maryland, circa 1920. "Hyattsville Automobile Co." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Hyattsville Automobile Co.

I now own the property in this photo it is a Auto Body shop at this time I have seen the Livery stable photo befor but not the Auto dealer but I was told that it was an old Ford dealer at one time I love to see our History as it was I remember about fifteen years ago we were installing a fence around the perimiter and we dug up old 100 year old car parts and a horse shoe. Thank you for sharing your info. Car guy

Around the Corner

This is (was, I suppose) right down the street from me. It doesn't look like either of these buildings remain, but I can go get a picture of what's there if anyone is interested.

[We are interested! - Dave]

Hyattsville Livery Stable

It was at Emerson Street and Baltimore Avenue. Link.

Baltimore Boulevard

The dealership was indeed located on Baltimore Boulevard (Avenue), though I'm not sure exactly where. The reflection in the window would suggest across the street from the American Legion, although the Legion no longer has a post in Hyattsville.

By 1938, the dealership was apparently specializing in Buicks:


Washington Post, 8 January 1938.

The boys from Hyattsville Auto bravely entered the Prince George's County bowling league in 1928, taking the spot of their counterparts from Lustine Chevrolet (a mainstay on US-1 in Hyattsville until a few years ago), who had lost all 21 of their games.


Washington Post, 18 November 1928.

Hyattsville Auto Mile

A stretch of US 1 north of the D.C. line was the "Auto Mile" through much of the 20th century. In its last gasp, in 2000 I took my damaged car there for an insurance estimate. The main reminder today is an old dealer showroom, now the Lustine Center of the floundering Hyattsville Arts District.

It's impossible to tell just where this photo was taken, but I'm sure I drive by the spot almost every day.

Reflections

I wonder what was going on at the American Legion from August 14-28.

Hyattsville Automobile

The dealership went by the name of Suburban Motor Sales in 1931 and was owned by Hervey G. Machen Sr. The building was in the 4800 block of Baltimore Avenue near Gasch's Funeral Home. Many years ago Stanley Machen, Hervey's son, told me his father initially started the business under the Hyattsville Automobile Company name. It was supposedly the county's first Ford dealership. The building was originally constructed as a livery stable.

[That explains the notation "Machen" on the negative. I wondered what that meant. - Dave]

Number Please?

The three autos with the license tags visible are numbered; 370, 371 and 374. Number 372 or 373 is possibly lurking behind that tree.

Way back when

license plates in the State of Maryland needed only three digits and vehicles didn't have brakes on the front axles.

[Model T's didn't have service brakes on the rear axles, either. The brake was in the transmission. - Dave]

Baltimore Avenue

This is a fantastic photo of old PG County. Could this have been near the Bladensburg town line, on Baltimore Avenue (currently US-1A)?

Born 30 Years Too Soon (or maybe 40)

The young fellow on the left sure looks like he was made for the Beat Generation, or possibly the '60s. He wanted to be writing, exploring the world -- anything but working on cars.

 
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