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King at the Temple: 1920

King at the Temple: 1920

San Francisco's Golden Gate Park circa 1920. "King Model H 'Foursome' touring car at Spreckels Temple of Music." Today's entry in the Shorpy Abecedary of Esoteric Autos is the letter K. Or maybe H. 5x7 inch glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.


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Rex extinctus

The King automobile Wikipedia page implies that the car was not just a run-of-the-mill assembled make. King was an early manufacturer of V8 models, and had some advanced features early on. Seems that bad management rather than a poor product is what did them in.

Still looking good

The old landscaping clearly went long ago, but you can see the teenager-sized versions of those now-huge eucalyptus trees at the left there.

Opposite facade

Here's a 1906 view of the "business end" of the bandshell, the audience seating area in front, and the trees that steamghost commented on. The damaged parapet visible in the photo was the result of the seismic unpleasantness San Francisco had recently endured.

Rex Obscurus

This obscure marque was no doubt one of the period's many scorned "assembled" makes -- a term referring to vehicles put together primarily with off-the-shelf components purchased from a multitude of outside suppliers. It is interesting that the opprobrium connected with that particular manufacturing approach didn't seem to apply to the poster child of assembled cars -- that is, the early Model T Ford.

A rose by any other name

Shown is the back side of the "temple", which is a bandshell. It now has trees planted in the plaza in front, supposedly to provide shade but just obscuring sightlines and sound. Not that there are any huge crowds there anymore.

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