SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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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Cold Wheels: 1947

Cold Wheels: 1947

From circa 1947 comes this News Archive snapshot of a freezer truck. Location: railroad tracks behind The Playhouse. 4x5 inch acetate negative. View full size.

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The Truck, The Building, and The City

The truck appears in an advertisement from the May 17, 1947 Tampa Tribune. It was built by the Hackney Brothers Body Company of Wilson,NC for Southern Dairies on a 1946 Chevrolet cab and chassis. The truck is wearing Southern Dairies livery in the ad.

The building in the background is The Playhouse Theatre located at 1852 Central Avenue, St Petersburg, Florida. The railroad tracks have long since been gone.

I can get it for you wholesale

This appears too large and heavy to be one of the retail sales trucks I remember from childhood. The vehicles that disturbed the sonic peace in my neighborhoods (and I include metropolitan DC in that group) invariably comprised a special body mounted on a lighter chassis, say a half-ton Ford, GMC, Chevrolet, or, on occasion, a step van. This truck appears much better suited to delivering frozen or refrigerated foods in bulk, say to grocery stores or restaurants.

Too big.

All the ice cream trucks I remember were smaller vans. The one that currently haunts my neighborhood plays Beethoven's Für Elise to tempt the kids.

No Bell

The ice cream guy in my neighborhood in the 50's and 60's drove a smaller truck without a bell. In it's place was a loud p.a. speaker that blasted "Turkey in the Straw" at a decibel level approximately equal that of an 80's hair band. Could be heard miles away. Gave us time start the begging for ice cream money from Mom and or Dad.

Before all the paint and decals and the bell

Signaling the arrival of the Good Humor driver. Oh the treasures those doors hid from an 8-year-old boy in 1958.

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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