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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Pontiac Nation: 1928

Pontiac Nation: 1928

        A scene that would no doubt bring a tear to Chief Pontiac's eye.

San Francisco in 1928. "Scouts in Indian costume with Pontiac autos." Junior G-men by the looks of it. 8x10 inch nitrate negative. View full size.

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Order of the Arrow

They are definitely Boy Scouts, just look at the uniforms. The older guys are likely members of Order of the Arrow, which is still functioning. I was made a member when I was a Scoutmaster in 1983.

Probably Not Boy Scouts

Judging from the "G" on the hats and the triangular shaped patch on one boy's shoulder, my guess is that these are Indian Guides, an organization sponsored by the YMCA. The organization still exists, but within the last few years has shed the name and is now known as "Adventure Guides."

[The triangle is similar to the Scouts' current "First Aider" badge. We also have a Cub Scouts insignia. - Dave]

Companion Car

The first Pontiacs were built in 1926, as a "companion make" to the Oakland automobile. Oaklands were built from 1901 to 1931, until Pontiacs began to outsell them by a wide margin, then GM phased the Oakland out in favor of the Pontiac. Of course, now the PMD itself is now history.


Wow! Can you imagine the outrage today over something like this? And we thought the Washington Redskins stirred it up.

Indian trade blankets

Those costumed Scouts are sporting Indian trade blankets made by Pendleton woolen mills in Oregon (the two on the right are definitely Pendleton patterns from that era) and others. They were traded to the Indians in early days, but Pendleton kept making them to the present day. The older ones, like these, are pretty valuable. I have one from 1930 with the original tag and a hand sewn tag with the owner's name, who apparently took it to camp or college.

Why all the San Francisco Car Pix?

How does Shorpy come by so many car pictures from the San Francisco Bay Area?

[He bought them from the estate of a lady who collected them. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD 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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