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Appleton: 1962

Appleton: 1962

UPDATE: It took only a few minutes for you to pinpoint the location to Appleton, Wisconsin. Well done! This is one of the Janet & Kermy Kodachromes, labeled "Wisconsin plane trip 1962." The slide was processed in October 1962.

A 35mm Kodachrome from the Shorpy archives that I scanned last night. Where are we, and when? See the comments for your answers. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

My hometown

I lived in Appleton from 1969 to 1995. You can see the AAL building and Zuelke building.

Gibson Motors used to be here on College Avenue also. My father bought his brand new 1974 Chevy Malibu here.

Up the street a little farther was the movie theater where I first saw Star Wars in 1977. I was 9 years old.

When I got my drivers license, in the mid-'80s, I used to "cruise the ave" as they used to say, looking for girls.

What memories. Thank you for the post.

Blue car

The blue car under the MARX clock is a '55-'56 Buick, not a '57 Oldsmobile. I owned a '57 Olds back in 1962. They have a 3 piece rear window and oval tailights.

Grandpa following Dad

A nostalgia trip for me,as my grandfather had a purple '59 Olds and my Dad a red '59 Chevy Bel Air at the time this photo was taken. My brother and I would stand on the floor behind the old man and watch him drive (no car seats, or even seatbelts, then). The cars are all as familiar to me as today's cars, except for that Nomad (good eye, Dave). I don't remember ever seeing one till later when they were big with street rodders and surfers.

1957 Olds From Illinois

Check out the robin's egg blue 1957 Oldsmobile sitting under the MARX clock. He's a visitor from Illinois. I distinctly remember the dark orange plates with white numerals, even though I was 12 years old at the time. Ahhhh, good times. No cell phones, no computers, kids got exercise outdoors playing and we were the most prosperous nation in the world. The only thing we had to worry about was the Russians!

Clue about clew

In Greek Mythology "clew" refers to the ball of thread used by Theseus to find his way out of the labyrinth to escape the Minotaur - becomes clue in American usage.

Others that have passed

To add to mpcdsp's list, H.C. Prange (department stores) and AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans), the two tall buildings on the right. Both Appleton mainstays were bought out or merged and renamed.

Things that pass; things that remain

The things that have passed: Pontiac, Mercury, Oldsmobile, F.W.Woolworth.

The things that have remained (so far): Chevrolet, Ford, Singer, Coca-Cola, Dutch Boy, Smirnoff, Sears (although who would have guessed Sears would be owned by K-Mart?).

Desolate Downtowns

This looks to be one of those towns that tried to buck the trend by putting the shopping center/mall downtown. These almost always failed. Nowadays malls are becoming ghost towns, and the new trend is toward "town centers" combining stores, housing and office buildings in order to try to recreate the downtown experience. The circle of life.

Iroquois Beer

I spent an hour or more looking for Iroquois Beer but only found Schlitz on top of Dick's Tavern. Where the heck is it? Iroquois beer was brewed in Buffalo & Dunkirk NY and also in Ohio at various times but not in Wisconsin, "diloretta" anything further to add? Thanks for the reason to hunt this pic.

[I think Diloretta was confusing Chief Pontiac with the Iroquois mascot. - Dave]


aren't clews the lower part of a sail?

[Maybe you need to get out more! - Dave]

Amarica's Dairyland

@bobstothfang- You would be correct. The phrase America's Dairyland has been on all Wisconsin standard automobile plates since 1940.

Why are downtowns desolate nowadays?

Comparing the photo from 1962 to Google Street View, it is jarring how desolate the downtown feels. The older photo seemed to pack in SO MANY more stores, so much more texture, and of course, so many more people and cars. Lots of photos on this site, when compared to modern day, feel the same.

I suppose I know some of the answers, but it still jumps out at me.

[Shopping centers, for one. - tterrace]


The large building on the far right with the "A.A.L" on it is the headquarters of the Aid Association for Lutherans (now Thrivent). I've had a life insurance policy with them since my parents bought it when I was two months old (March 1962).

Far Cars

From the left: 1961 Chevy, 1955 Chevy Nomad, yellow 1959 Ford, 1962 Ford, another 1959 Ford, blue 1962 Ford, 1960 Mercury.

But here's the most perplexing question of all

Why does Jimos Hat Cleaners have a Coca-Cola logo on its sign?

217 east college Appleton WI

Greenen dry goods is pretty conclusive. There are a lot of changes but the red brick building with beige points is still there.

I'll take an educated guess

I am betting that we are looking south on the main street in Appleton, WI in the very early '60s.

Based on the following clues --

Tusler Pontiac sign
Tusler Motor Company (Google)
Burton Tusler (Google)
The vintage of the cars
Jimos Hat Cleaners (Google)
"Andy Jimos, who had a hat cleaning business on
the main street for 65 years…from 1927 to 1982"...

The license plates are tough to see, but they might say "America's Dairyland" on the bottom.

[Other clews below. - Dave]


200 block of East College, Appleton, Wisconsin


I am impressed! Appleton, Wisconsin, is correct. This is one of the Janet & Kermy Kodachromes, labeled "Wisconsin plane trip 1962." The slide was processed in October 1962.

Downtown Appleton

Downtown Appleton, WI; looking west along College Avenue between Morrison and Oneida.

View Larger Map

Is this the place?

Might this be Appleton, Wisconsin?

Appleton, Wisconsin

At back, the H.C. Prange Department Store was at 126 West College Avenue Appleton, Wisconsin. It opened in 1946.

View Larger Map

That's cool!

No comment in particular other than I love these photos that capture a place in time. Love it.


That is Appleton, Wisconsin.

Just a guess

I'd say early 1960s Atlanta.


Newest car in the photo is the 1960 Chevy parked on right foreground.


I think there was a Tusler Pontiac in Appleton, WI.

Iroquois beer

So we're probably somewhere in New York. Buffalo?

[I could really go for a six-pack of Pontiacs right about now. - Dave]

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