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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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Scooped to Safety: 1924

Scooped to Safety: 1924

December 17, 1924. Washington, D.C. "Auto safety device demonstration. Inspector Albert Headley." National Photo glass negative. View full size.

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Baltimore Automobile

I'm very interested if anyone knows more about the car in the pic. I can't find anything about a Baltimore Motor Company. There was a Lord Baltimore motor company, but they were only in business for one year, 1913, and this car looks newer than that. anyone got anything?

[The car is a circa 1920 Packard. - Dave]

Baltimore passenger cars

Does anybody know any history about Baltimore brand automobiles? I have information that there were about 3 different companies incorporated to build Baltimore cars from about 1899 to 1906 but it indicates that none of them were successful. I would like to learn what years these cars were built.

Proven Technology

You can scoff all you want, but trolleys and streetcars used a similar device for over thirty years. I guess a couple of broken ankles beat getting ground up under the wheels.

Bring out the Scoops!

Soylent Green is People!!!

Cow catchers didn't...

"Catch" cows, they were angled to plow them off to the side of the tracks and clear the path of the train. I'm thinking that design would have been a better option here.

For a special kind of pedestrian

Obviously this is for pedestrians who are already in a seated position in the middle of road, and are jollily bouncing across an intersection. Although I guess technically they wouldn't be pedestrians then.

Hard to start

Looks like it would make the car difficult to start, too. Note the crank behind this contraption.

[Most cars of this vintage had electric starters as well as cranks, for use if the battery was dead. - Dave]

The best safety feature on any car

would be a six-inch steel spike pointing straight out from the center of the steering wheel.

It's a start

I agree. This doesn't look safe whatsoever. It wouldn't even make a decent snowplow! But I applaud the auto company for at least trying to make a safety feature.

People Catcher

I remember reading about these. They were meant to function the same way as a cow catcher does on the front of train locomotive. Unfortunately, they had a tendency to break the pedestrian's legs and ankles at speeds above 2 mph.

They have to be kidding

I can't believe anyone would think this would be "safe". Was it supposed to scoop up pedestrians, sit them down and take them for a ride?

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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