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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hotrod Time Machine: 1975

Hotrod Time Machine: 1975

This shot answers the question, "Just what was tterrace photographing that day in 1975 when he was strolling around Petaluma?" Well, when I got to this spot on Sixth Street I apparently stumbled into a gap in the space-time continuum. Fortunately my Konica was loaded with Kodacolor, so I was able to return with the kind of scene one normally encounters only in black and white.

If we were to do an equivalent shot today, the car would be something like a 1965 Dodge Dart, which to me doesn't seem like a really old car, whereas the one here unquestionably does. Doesn't stuff like that drive you nuts? View full size.

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Porch light

Nice picture! Another indicator of the time period is the porch light. Often missing in older shots, it is not only present but of a more decorative style.

Petaluma House

I was in Petaluma today and got this photo of the house. The plaque on the front steps says "Heritage Home of Petaluma." Click to enlarge.

Time Perspective as it applies to Sports

tterrace, I know what you mean about time, and I normally apply it to sports. For instance, Terry Bradshaw led the Steelers to their first Super Bowl victory in January 1975. Terry Bradshaw in 2010 is like Slingin' Sammy Baugh in 1975, and both as funny.

I know it well

Having graduated from Petaluma High School which is on Fair Street (which turns into Tenth Street as you head south), I know the area well. Whenever we get to Petaluma, my wife loves to see the old homes on the west side.

It is good to know that I am not the only one who looks at the relativity of time. In August, I went to my 36th (yes thirty-sixth) high school reunion. I reflect on the fact that that amount of time would be like someone in 1974 having graduated in 1938.

In movies, I notice the difference between a film made in, say, 1975 and a new film that takes place in 1975 is that the older film has so many things -- especially cars -- that are old for the time. The new film trying to be 1975 usually makes it look like everyone drove a car that was less than five years old.

I know the feeling

I just went back for my 25th class reunion. I was talking to my fellow Class of 85 grads and reminded them that these high school seniors are looking at us like we looked at the Class of 1960. That thought was a bit sobering!!

Talk about a Space Time continuum!!

re: New and Pricey

The house in that Zillow listing at #4 Sixth St. is the one next door, off to the right out of frame; it is indeed a newer building. The one in my shot is #6 Sixth St. Google street numbers are often approximate, to say the least.

About the telltales: I figured that electrical line was a giveaway, same with the license plate. Also, good points someone made about the shrubbery. I lucked out on no TV antennas, but in the original neg there are glimpses of modern cars just outside of where I cropped this on both the left and right.




The post-1963 black California plate dates it. Also, the modern-type electrical service cable. I tend to think that the brick steps are a modern style; they do look like the '70s to me, but pretty subtle. That's about it, I think. You did a good job of not getting any TV antennas or aluminum siding in the shot.

Yes, the things that seemed old were really not so old. The things that were new, strangely do seem old. It's a paradox.

New and Pricy

Zillow seems to think it was built in 1968 and worth more than $600K.

Falcon Crest

Obviously this house is at the center of some kind of old-car vortex.

View Larger Map

Old things seemed older in the old days

I think about this all the time. A matter of perspective that always keeps me in awe. The things I thought were really old when I was younger, really weren't all that old after all.

Found it

I took a long virtual walk along 6th Street and found the pretty white house, which is now a strangely foreboding, yet handsome, gothic Victorian. The upper windows were replaced with a style that matches the side windows. I like both the old and new versions of the house. Too bad the car in the driveway was also replaced.

Waiting for the +35

Would a Petaluman please step forward and post a recent photo of this house? I really hope it hasn't changed. (If the car's still in the driveway I'll be astounded.)

The Coupe

I'd agree that it's a Plymouth but more likely a 1931-32 model since the 1930 has a split two-piece rear bumper on either side of the spare tire. This one probably had a single side-mounted spare on the driver's side fender or else someone had removed the original rear carrier and put the spare in the trunk. Nice photo in all versions!

Doc Brown?

Paging Marty McFly!

It doesn't look old.

Even with the old house and car, it still dates itself as very contemporary (in color or black and white). I'm not quite sure why, but here's my best guess.

The lawn and shrubs and even the paint job are all finished by machines that simply didn't exist then. Back then lines where not as straight. Paint wasn't as flat. Reflections in glass weren't so crisp.

To me the biggest anachronism is the lawn. Lawns mowed with a hand mower just look different. [I'm not that old, but I grew up with one.]

Am I crazy?

Variations on a house

Below is my own monochrome version, in which I tried to emulate the orthochromatic sensitivity of older photographic emulsions by lightening the blues and darkening the reds. Hence we get what you might call a "Shorpy sky." If we keep this up, we're going to out-Fark Fark.

Gleneagles: I've found Photoshop's Shadows & Highlights function to be a great tool for dealing with slide scans, in particular highly contrasty and underexposed ones. I too liked to underexpose transparency film for saturation, usually by a whole stop.

That car is certainly hotrod material, as Dave has implied, but it looks like an authentic restoration to me. My first thought was a Model A, but I couldn't find that exact body style or window shape. A 1930 Plymouth 2-door sedan looked pretty close, though. Experts?

This makes one

want to talk badly about those longhaired hippies. Great shot.


Now that is a great shot. The scan is fantastic as well. I think I need to take lessons from tterrace.

A Doctor's Visit?

Or perhaps his residence and/or office.

Sixth Street, Petaluma

I live in the county next door and so I am very familiar with the historic neighborhoods of Petaluma. I've been scanning many of my photos from that era and Kodacolor prints, if stored properly, can be every bit as good as Kodachromes for archival purposes.

I'm having a lot of trouble scanning slides because I used to deliberately under-expose by 1/3rd of an f stop for color saturation. The slides looked great when projected with an intense projector lamp, but my scans are almost always too dark. Your resolution is also something easier to achieve when scanning a print than a negative or a slide, because you don't need so many dpi for sharpness.

Nice photo! I think I'll convert your grayscale version to simulated 3-D; the tree in the foreground might make for a nice effect. --Bob

Let me play

with this image.

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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