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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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Mr. Goodwrench: 1943

Mr. Goodwrench: 1943

Garage mechanic near Newark, N.J., with Office of Defense Transportation badge. December 1943. Kodachrome transparency by Marjory Collins. View full size.

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If it ain't broke

I used one of those coin dispensers on my newspaper route in the fifties. Cost me a dollar fifty, but was a source of pride and a symbol of professionalism to a young man. My big brother got in a fight with another paperboy wearing a belt changer and, quite by accident, got his leg badly sliced by one of the levers. The Doc was able to sew him up and all was well, but all that blood gave us quite a scare.

Mr. Goodwrench has taken its last turn

Ms. Goodwrench started in 1974 to give a common identity to service for all its dealers and brands. It started out as a friendly looking mechanic in a crisp light-blue shirt and evolved into a drawing of a brawny man in a striped work shirt hoisting the brand's blue G-shaped logo. General Motors is pulling the plug on the manufacturer Mr. Goodwrench. General Motors isn't canceling all dealership and brand service stations though. Instead, the names are just being changed. Service stations will be manufacturer specific. Mr. Goodwrench, launched in the 1970s, was changed to Goodwrench Service Plus in the 1990s. The brand is being dropped to accommodate the new GM advertising strategies.

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Office of Defense Transportation
(My secret? One is for sale on EBay.)

I had one of those!

I had a paper route from 1945 to 1949 and had one of those money changers which was a prized possession. Had to go "collect" for the weeks paper already delivered that week every Saturday, then walk the bridge to Ironton Ohio where I paid my bill to the newspaper and kept 1 cent per day per paper delivered. There were no credit cards in those days and almost everything was on a cash basis.

Why would a mechanic need to make change?

He probably pumped gas as well... Why go to a register to make change when you can do it on the spot?


Why would a mechanic need to make change?

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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