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About the Photos

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 • FLY TO THE CARIBBEAN BY CLIPPER, c. 1950s

A Grand Day Out: 1910

A Grand Day Out: 1910

Toledo, Ohio, circa 1910. "Riverside Park and boat house." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Target marketing

Electric cars were preferred by the gentler sex because they didn't need to be crank-started. A feature that, alas, is not mentioned the the advertising of modern electrics.

Designed Dog

The bank-presidentish dog between the girl and the woman seems art directed to pick up their clothing colors, white on the girl's side, black on grandmother's. All extremely elegant.

1910-2011

Electric cars in 1910 cost 2-3x a gas one and got 100 miles to the charge. Just like today's electric cars.

Progress.

[Well, yes. Top speed of these primitive electrics was around 20 mph. - Dave]

The Pretty Young Lady from Mannheim

In August of 1888 Bertha Benz got sick and tired of Carl always messing
with his Motorwagon and never doing anything about promoting it for
possible sales. So, she got the kids and swiped it to drive to mom's house
(wink-wink) about 60 miles away in Pforzheim. Along the way she made
the best out of getting all the attention possible. And she did! This distance
was unheard of. So, a lady driver put Carl Benz on the map, so to speak.
There is a Bertha Benz Memorial Route in Germany, and to this day, people
would like to own a "Benz."

Onward and Upward

As Vance Packard noted in 1959: "The primary function of the motor car in America is to carry its owner into a higher social stratum."

Little Old Lady from Pasadena

Somehow I never thought of women driving back then, but it looks like she was "shutting 'em down," ha. Don't know how you do all this great stuff, but I'm sure glad you do. Just love it!

Granny

in her electric runabout. Similar to the Pope-Waverley seen here except for the location of the tiller and some other details.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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