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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

The Automobilists: 1906

The Automobilists: 1906

June 1906. "REO Mountaineer -- New York to San Francisco and back." Percy Megargel and David Fassett at the conclusion of their 10-month round trip. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

The Clampetts

must have bought this one used!

If that is a sanitation worker in the left background, he's probably excited that the car produces zero emissions of a different kind!

Hoarse and Buggy

is what they were after traveling 11,000 miles sans windshield.

I Call Shotgun!

What else can be said. In this case, literally.

Whaddaya mean, we need an E-Z-Pass?

Once again Percy and David are rebuffed by the Holland Tunnel. And the Oyster Bar was close, so very, very close.

Site of Yankee Stadium

The numbered street sign is illegible, but the other one seems to say Jerome Ave. If so, the combination of that and Huber's Hotel seems to mean that the photo was taken in the Bronx at the site of the future Yankee Stadium.

[Huber's Hotel was at Jerome Avenue and 162nd Street. - Dave]

One Grueling Grind

Both men look worse for wear after their months-long adventure. This New York Times article from 1908 details the East-to-West half of their grueling trip, their detour (turn left at the Sierra Nevada range), and a list of things they'd do differently next time. That included taking TWO Winchester rifles to ward off wolves, a vehicle with much higher clearance and a lot more food (they went without eating for four days at one point).

Note the searchlight on the hood. Came in handy at night for targeting all those wild and woolly critters out there.

Talk about road rage.

The rifle seems to be an accessory that has gone by the wayside. Pity.

Chain drive

The Reo, like a lot of early automobiles, used chain drive (a heavier-duty version of what you'd find on a bicycle) to turn the rear wheels. The canvas slung under the car would have kept the chain from getting tangled up with underbrush. The chains were lubricated with grease, which would explain the oil spots.

Just In Time

If that is oil under the vehicle, fortune rode and finished with them. And I do like the holstered rifle accent.

Armed

Try riding into NY with a rifle hanging on your car now.

Stems

Interesting to note that not only is the vehicle a right hand drive but each wheel has five valve stems.

[Those are tire clamps -- retainers that hold the tire on the wheel. - Dave]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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