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W@F: 1942

W@F: 1942

July 1942. Detroit, Michigan. "Street scenes in the downtown business section. Cars waiting for a traffic light on a street with traffic markings." More specifically, Woodward Avenue at Farnsworth Street as seen from the Maccabees Building. 4x5 inch acetate negative by Arthur Siegel for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Silver Streaks

It was awfully easy to spot Pontiacs in those days. Dollar for dollar you can't beat a Pontiac!

Hi-yo Silver!

The Maccabees Building housed WXYZ radio which debuted the "Lone Ranger" radio serial on January 30, 1933. The building is now part of Wayne State University.

Knights and Green Hornet

As a native Detroiter and Wayne State University alumnus, The Maccabees Building is very familiar to me. Designed by Albert Kahn (Detroit's resident architect) and built in 1927 by the Knights of the Maccabees, a fraternal order, they offered low-cost life insurance to their members. When they moved out of the city the building was taken over by the Detroit Public Schools and then Wayne State University.

It also housed the studios of radio station WXYZ, which in the 1930s and '40s broadcast the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet on the Mutual Broadcasting System. At WSU in the early '70s I took a meaningless class in Radio Production just so I could work in those studios. By then the studios were the home of WDET, the educational station in Detroit and local affiliate for National Public Radio.

Also, in the picture, notice the streetcar. Detroit once had a quality mass transit system but with the quick expansion of the city and the lower cost of buses, it became too expensive to operate and was slowly dismantled by the 1950s.

Shorpy Noir

And there Shorpy was, right where he said he'd be, standing by the lamppost on the corner of Woodward and Farnsworth. He was taking the foil off a strip of Wrigley's. Poor guy, he went through a pack of gum faster than he used to go through a pack of menthols. He kept staring at the manhole cover in the intersection. He had a sad look, like a guy who had just been jilted by a dame he really loved.

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