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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Pale Rider: 1908

Pale Rider: 1908

Washington, D.C., circa 1908. "Miss Corine Murphy in auto." Note the unusual rear tire. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Oh, Say, I Can See!

I would suggest the centre headlight on the swivel burns acetylene, furnished from a carbide and water gas generator on the auto's left side, the top of which is just visible over the dash.

Water in a reservoir on top is controlled to drip onto carbide chunks in the base, which generates acetylene gas. A pipe and a hose would bring the gas to the lamp within which is a ceramic burner jet for the flame.

Thank You again for another wonderful photo from long ago!

Not quite Kodachrome

It was too hot and windy outside to work in the yard so I spent the whole day coloring this old photograph. Thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

An old friend

This is the second car we've see of this general type. The other was in front of the Gotham Hotel a day or so ago. I wonder how many of them were made.

Slick Tires

They appear to be "Billet" detachable tire protectors with "contre envelope" attachments or similar. ("The Horseless Age" Volume 15, January 4, 1905)

The "tread" part has flaps which extend over the sidewall on both sides and hold a wire extending around the circumference and fasten (tighten) in two places with a screw and nut.

At that time here were many types of tire protectors of various designs and attachment schemes. Some also claimed to improve traction.

Snakeskin traction sleeves

"Viper" was one popular brand. Flayed from live boa constrictors, which were grown on python plantations in Cuba around the turn of the century.

It's an outrage!

Next thing you know they'll be wanting the right to vote, and before you know it liquor will be against the law!


The license plate number is written on the headlights.


I think they are galoshes to keep the mud off your good
"Sunday go to meeting" tires.

Portable treads

Those tires solve the problem of having to throw away perfectly functional "Goodyear Quick Detachable Tires" just because the tread is worn out.

All four tires are slicks and the tread (sort of like putting chains on a car today) is added to only the drive wheels. Makes sense. And you can have dirt road tread, and cobblestone tread, and asphalt tread, depending on where you plan to drive.

But I like that huge radiator best with the gaping spaces to its core. Not to mention that this car is from before the era of bumpers. You hit somebody with that radiator first. If you hit a horse, he'll get a behind branded with radiator textured plaid.

Ms. Murphy

Looks more than ready to lay down some serious miles.

Cadillac Model B Runabout

Circa 1904.

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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