Monday, November 26, 2012

The Family Jalopy

Here are photographs of families and other folks with their automobiles. For a frame of reference, I am referring to the generation of cars built in the years just before and just after WWI. That would be a date range of about 1915-1920. Two things which distinguish these models from earlier years are the lack of a large handbrake lever on the outside of the driver's side and the sides of the body now run at dashboard height, all the way to the back. In addition, prior to this period many automobiles were right-hand drive.

Back in those days there were over 200 brands of automobile being built in this country. Some had names that would live on past WWI and the Great Depression, but most were absorbed into larger companies or closed for good by the end of the 1930s. For example, GM acquired control of Oakland Motor Car Company (of Pontiac, Michigan) in 1909 and created the Pontiac brand in 1926 to occupy a "price point" between Chevrolet and Oakland. The Pontiac ended up outselling the Oakland so GM dropped the Oakland in 1931.

The parents of Benjamin Reuhl are at each wheel. I think the other two are the parents of Mrs Reuhl. Shot at the Reuhl home just off of Mission Avenue in northeast Spokane. The family home is still there but now occupied by students attending Gonzaga University.

A family outing at the river, or lake. Those cars look brand new.

Looks like a country car. Check out the extra spotlight on the window frame.

Mother must not travel well. These days the position of her hands suggest she was making a cell phone call. License plate dated 1918.

The boys. Note the panel added between the front and rear fenders to hold cargo.

The farm-to-market car.

Visiting the country relations?

Ladies' day out.

A nice-looking car, the guy doesn't look comfortable.

Looks like a roadside stop, and perhaps a little unwanted attention from the male passenger.

Well-worn cars at a family gathering. The girl on the right would later become the mother of a girl named Beulah. I'll post some of her family photos in a later post.

This is a scan from a contact print which contained images from a Spokane-based traffic safety slideshow.

Ready to go to town to spend the egg money.

This is a scan of one of the prize images in my collection. It is from a glass plate negative that I won with other photos at an auction. The lot included old celluloid copes of glass plate negatives which were shot in Spokane in1915, and two original plates. That's just about the Holy Grail for me, as far as vintage photos go. I assume the car is in a repair shop, since the front end is damaged.
More shots to come, from the motoring public...


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