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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Tango Palace: 1949

Tango Palace: 1949

New York, 1949. Broadway in neon and Kodachrome, courtesy of Shorpy member RalphCS. Where we're waiting to get Phil Spitalny's autograph. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Still more on the traffic light

Perpster has it right on the red/green signal phases, but I'll add that the sequence mentioned was only instituted a number of years into the signalization of the city. Orignally I believe it was Green -> [DARK] -> Red. They decided to replace the [DARK] phase with Red/Green ON in the '40s or early '50s.

I've refurbished one of these pretty little Sherman Tanks of a traffic light for myself:
https://gardenstatesignals.net/my-traffic-signals/#NYCRedGreen

Phil Spitalny and His All-Girl Orchestra

"Evelyn [Mrs. Spitalny] and Her Magic Violin" were featured soloist and instrument on the Hour of Charm radio program until well after World War II. I have dim memories of their program -- largely over-orchestrated schlock -- but only because one of my cowboy shows came on right after it.

Traffic Light Phases

These traffic lights did not go directly from green to red. There was an in-between phase achieved by the green staying on, and the red coming on. Both would be lit briefly to signal Caution, and then the green would go out, leaving just the red light lit.

In summary: Just Green, then Red and Green, then just Red.

Roof Astor

What is that sign in the background at the top "Roof Astor" supposed to mean? Is that the name of the establishment? There's an arrow that seems to point at the roof. Seems really non-intuitive for someone coming in from out of town.

[Refers to the Hotel Astor's Roof Garden. -tterrace]

Loving these in color

My father drove a cab in NYC while going to NYU in the late '40s. Every time I see a cab in one of these pics, I like to imagine him driving it. B&W photos of this era just don't bring out the same emotion. Color makes the scene come alive.

Thanks RalphCS & Shorpy for providing these. They're terrific!

In 1952, I Believe

A sports Crosley 'Hot Shot' won the Index of Performance at the Sebring 12 Hour race. The Index of Performance was a way to let smaller, less powerful cars win a prize. Interesting cars. They even competed at LeMans in France.

Note the Traffic Light

The traffic lights of the era in NYC featured red and green lights, with no yellow or "caution" light in between. As I recall, to give those approaching a suddenly-turned-red light time to stop or get through the intersection, the red light facing the others stayed red a while longer before turning green and allowing them to proceed.

Quo Vadis

Advertised here as "in production". Following numerous casting changes and production delays, it was finally released to theaters 2½ years after this photo.

Cross-country Crosley

Back in the olden days I used to see a number of Crosleys tooling around in Idyllic Larkspur™ and happened to catch one scampering down the main drag in this 1962 slide.

[I wonder if those Toyopets will ever be as popular. -Dave]

Crossing our path

... is a lovely little 1946 or '47 Crosley station wagon. Crosleys, the first of the “econobox” cars in America, were remarkably innovative. The Crosley used a naval marine engine made of welded copper, the first affordable overhead-cam powerplant in an American car. This little buggy also had four-wheel disc brakes, another US first. Crosleys are quite rare today, but have a strong club following.

Waiting eagerly

For someone to identify that funny little gray car.

[It's a Crosley. -tterrace]

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