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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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Copley Plaza: 1912

Copley Plaza: 1912

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1912. "Copley Plaza Hotel, Copley Square." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Cambridge Front

The leatherette and isinglass windshield supported by brass rods was most likely made by a company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Known as "Cambridge Windshields," they were mostly used on sporting type cars.

Also note that the car appears to have Rhode Island license plate number 1.

The auto at the curb

Out on a limb. It looks like the 1912 Thomas Flyer Model MC 6-40 Roadster. radiator and spare tire mounts are similar.

1912 Rhode Island License Plate Number 1

Black numbers on white porcelain plate;
Design .............. vertical "RI" at left
Slogan .............. none
Serial format ...... 12345
1 to approximately ... 35000

Rhode Island reused numbers from earlier expired registrations. The reason being they did not want to exceed the 99,999 numbering scheme limit. They did exceed that limit in 1913.

That said, this is the first 1912 registration. suggesting the auto is 1912 or earlier vintage.

Found a bird!

I’m always trying to spot birds in these old photos whether they are in trees, on wires or on buildings. I have yet to find many in my several years of looking. I think Dave said it was mostly due to shutter speed? Anyway, I finally spy a pigeon on the grass in front!

Tag on that "cool roadster"

That black-on-white license plate on the cool roadster is a 1912 Rhode Island dealer's license number 1. Collectors would pay four-figures for that today.

Cool roadster

I love the car at the curb. Probably hard to identify it here, and the bolt-on split windshield is something I've never seen before in my 40+ years in the antique car hobby.

[That's some sort of fabric snap-on shroud. - Dave]

Still there today

Pretty much everything else is gone, 'cepting the BPL (behind the trees) and Trinity Church (behind the photog).

Granddad worked here

Until his passing in 1960, my grandfather was maître d' in the Merry-Go-Round Room on the first floor just inside the righthand entrance. The lounge closed for a day in his honor.

This grand old lady still stands.

That Car!

What make is that automobile in the foreground? It almost looks like an early model Jeep. I wonder if any Shorpy fan can identify it and what year it was manufactured?

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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