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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Twin Falls: 1941

Twin Falls: 1941

May 1941. "Main street of Twin Falls, Idaho. Among industries in this town are a sugar beet factory, cannery and it is a shipping center for potatoes and onions." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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It's about the county

K. McCool, in the years of annual license plate replacement, all the plates would be issued in sequence to the counties; "6R" would have been the prefix for auto plates issued in Twin Falls County. Other states did the same; I remember that in 1975 my Texas county was assigned car plates beginning with CDW through CDZ. Truck plates would have a different sequence that identified them as belonging to a truck, trailers similarly, and so on.

This changed with the gradual adoption of multi-year valid plates, so when a car moved from one county to another it wouldn't automatically be issued a new plate from its new county in the next year. Today, it's virtually impossible to identify closely where a car is from based on its license plate number.

License plate county codes

Many states have dropped the system of sorting license plate numbers by county, as growth in the number of registered vehicles made it unworkable in the more populous states, and computer databases made it unnecessary. Idaho, however, still uses the system, and 6R was Twin Falls County until 1944.

My earliest memory of knowing the year was when I watched my dad put on new license plates in 1971. He let me keep the old ones, kicking off an obsession that has waxed and waned over the years. I'm glad that I'm too young to have experienced the ordeal of waiting in line at the courthouse with every single other vehicle owner in the county, when records were all paper, and everyone had to renew them at the first of the year. That doesn't sound like fun at all.

Chop Suey and 6R

It appears that the City Cafe's specialty was Chop Suey. Is it odd that the owner would include that on what looks like a fairly expensive sign out front. Also, I find it interesting that the three license plate numbers in front all begin with "6R." Perhaps something to do with Idaho's license plate numbering convention at that time?

A Parking Meter Bonanza is in the making

And I also like the neon signs and all the little restaurants. Blue Plate special today: Liver and onions. Move on to the next joint.


The shadow line created by those cars parked along the curb is a neat aspect of this picture. Hope someone comes along and helps identify them.

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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