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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The Black Hand: 1920

The Black Hand: 1920

San Francisco, 1920. "Standard Eight touring car." Today's entry in the Shorpy Digest of Dingy Digits. 5x7 glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.

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What's with the road?

Was tarring over the street once de rigueur?

White Collar

I hope he doesn't try to loosen his collar with that hand.

Fort Mason

The touring car is parked on Van Ness Avenue near Bay Street.

The building in the left background is still standing. Located in historic Fort Mason, it served as headquarters for the sprawling "San Francisco Port of Embarkation" during World War II and processed the deployment of over 1.5 million troops and 23 million tons of cargo to the Pacific Theater.

Today the building serves as headquarters for another government agency: National Park Service's "Golden Gate National Recreation Area."

Precise guy

Pencil and ruler in his breast pocket.

One scenario

This is the hand (and tire-changing smock) of an automobilist who has just fixed a flat.

Well, this is pointless

I still have to use hand signals in my 1952 MG TD (pictured below). It never came with electrical signals. I think it might have been the last brand of car sold in the US that didn't.

Early Adopter

I remember my mother using turn signal lights for the first time in a 1949 Mercury and the guy behind her chewing her out for not using the proper hand signal.

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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