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.

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Stuck Truck: 1921

Stuck Truck: 1921

Washington, D.C., 1921. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

On Shorpy:
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To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

A Really Federal Express

American Railway Express existed from 1917 to 1929, formed by the nationaization of the express mail services owned by Adams Express, American Express, and Wells Fargo Express. World War I was hard on the fractious US railway system. The successor private company to ARE was Railway Express Agency (REA), owned by the railroad companies. It lasted from 1929 til 1975: a victim of mismanagement, corruption, and more nimble competiton.

Riding the Rails?

Does it strike anyone else that it looks as though the wheels on this truck were designed to allow it to operate on railroad tracks? The front wheels have a railroad-style flange and the groove in the rear wheels looks it was make to ride on rails as well.

[This is a common early truck tire. Solid rubber and tubeless. - Dave]

Stuck Truck

The "house" window for windshield is very interesting!

Traffic Report

I am loving this series of vehicular disasters in DC! It beats the accidents I see during my daily commute.

Police Call Box

Check out the fire/police call box on the pole. I have one dating back to the 1800s.


What character vehicles had in that time, I'd imagine the front axle alone has enough metal to make a car today.

Walker Electric

That is indeed an electric vehicle. It was manufactured by the Walker Vehicle Company of Chicago.


The poster has a point. There was a Walker electric truck in 1918. Here we are almost a hundred years later and we're working on creating electric trucks again.

Truck features

How about those solid rubber tires? What do you think the large footlocker shaped box is between the front and rear wheels? Could it be a battery for an electric motor? I don't see any radiator for a gas engine. Check out the aahh-ooo-gah horn by the front seat.

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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