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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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Courtesy Service: 1940

Courtesy Service: 1940

June 1940. "Trucks in service station on Bladensburg Road, Washington, D.C., U.S. Route 1." Medium format negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

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I noted immediately that Bladensburg Road, near where I live, is not US 1. Now US 1 is Rhode Island Avenue through Mount Rainier and Hyattsville.

But it turns out that Delano's labeling was correct in 1940: During World War II, Rhode Island Avenue was widened and the route moved a mile or so west of Bladensburg, with the old road designated Alternate US 1. This was done to relieve congestion on the major north-south corridor. Good luck with that. Today the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Interstate 95 are monsters of congestion, and neither US 1 nor Alternate 1 is much better.


Notice the Esso station in the background. I remember as a child when they changed it to Exxon in 1973. Still Esso is Canada though.

Defenseless fuel dispensers

No hose breakaway connectors, bumper posts , effective size islands to stop vehicle damage. I test and inspect fuel dispensers that have been repaired after drive-offs (hose left in vehicle fuel fill neck) and vehicle contact with the aforementioned safeguards in-place. Daily contact requiring repairs aren't uncommon.

I can only imagine how often these beautiful dispensers met an early demise.

Good year

At far right, in front of the air pump, is a 1936 Packard 120, the company’s top seller, meant to allow it to survive the Depression.

Microscopic mirrors

I love both of these tractors and trailers, but, good luck seeing anything in those tiny mirrors.

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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