Category: Motor vehicles

Forest service fire truck


Image: from ebay auction; probably a U.S. Forest Service photo.

US Forest Service Truck, Angeles National Forest, California in 1939.




Image: apparently a snapshot with no information.

The famous Hollywood sign was to be sometime in the future. In 1939 it was showing the full name of the real estate development. This photo was probably shot from the parking lot of the Griffith Park observatory.

Street scene


Image: source not given; may be UCLA digital collection at .

Downtown Los Angeles facing north on South Broadway between West Second Street and West Third Street, 1939.

Sometimes it is nice to see a plain ol’ street scene showing how a particular place used to look. Notice how the then-late-model automobile at the lower right looks so futuristic when compared with the boxy styling of the other cars in the photo.

Graham “Sharknose”


Image: 1939 newspaper ad from unidentified publication

Graham introduced a dramatically-styled line of cars in 1938 that continued for a few years. The ad above shows quite a few dealers in southern California.

A blogger speculates whether the “Sharknose” car inspired the Batmobile in period comics at . Be sure to click on the link to see photos that show the car from a variety of angles. The linked story includes the fascinating history of the company.