Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

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lyonsronnie1
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Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by lyonsronnie1 » Sun May 05, 2019 8:22 pm

Hi folks!
I own a building in the small town of Jefferson, SC, and we have this old picture of the town that everybody cherishes... I wish I had a higher resolution scan but this is from a postcard... if you click it it should get larger. Anyways, this picture is always listed as being from 1925, but I have reason to believe it's from earlier than that. I own a building built in 1920, that's not in this photo, so either me or the photo date is wrong :)

The reason I post it here is, because I believe these to be a bunch of Model T's parked in front of the buildings and thought since I have little knowledge of the early vehicles before the 50's or so, maybe you fine folks could date or identify some of the cars? It's my understanding that it's hard to give a specific date of a Model T because they were made similarly for many years, but perhaps whatever that second car in the picture with the strange wheels could give away the date? There was a cotton market just south of this intersection (the truck in the middle of the road is leaving with a huge haul of cotton) and as I understand it there were some fairly wealthy people that owned the businesses on this street, however everybody around were farmers. My point being perhaps some of the cars were very new and owned by the money people in town, or maybe one or two of them are expensive enough to be a giveaway to the date?

I guess what I'm asking is... do you see anything in this photo that is definitely after 1919? My building is the two story building on the left in the background, I believe it was built in January of 1920.

One interesting thing I saw is on the right in front of the second building appears to be a gas pump, but if it is it's awful tall! I know that particular building was the post office at the time, so maybe something else was hung outside of early post offices?

Any help is appreciated, I also posted a picture of how the same scene looked this morning, May 5th, 2019.... perhaps 100 years later!
Main_street_looking_north_Jefferson_SC.jpg
5-5-2019.JPG
Another picture taken at the same time:
Bank_building_Jefferson_SC.jpg
IMG_6168.JPG


John kuehn
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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by John kuehn » Sun May 05, 2019 8:40 pm

As far as the cars go the Model T’s that I see in the picture or at least late 1923 probably more like 24 for sure. The T Coupe that’s 4th from the left looks like at least a 24 along with the Sedans ,Touring and Roadster. The T’s from late 23-25 look pretty much alike from this distance.
Don’t think the other cars are earlier than 1920. Others will have their opinion.


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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sun May 05, 2019 8:47 pm

The first car a model T, I think a '24 or '25 model, possible to be as early as a '23. The second car is not a Ford, I would speculate about the same year range. The third car also not a Ford. Not enough details to get very specific, but also appears mid '20s. The fourth car is the clincher (pun not intended). That specific coupe style was built by Ford for only two years, 1924 and '25.
Photo cannot be earlier than very late 1923 calendar year, '24 model year.

Wonderful photo! Thanks for sharing it here.


Topic author
lyonsronnie1
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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by lyonsronnie1 » Sun May 05, 2019 8:53 pm

Wow, that is truly amazing information, thank you folks. If anybody else has any comments please add.

So here's the story, the purple (not for long!) building on the left in the new photo, in the back, was built by a Peter A. Nicholson.... who purchased the land it sits on in January of 1920. He had two stores in town, and ran an add in the newspaper April 1st, 1920 saying he had just opened up his third location, his 'department store', and that everybody should come visit.

However, you just proved that it wasn't this building... BECAUSE IT'S NOT IN THE PICTURE!

That is pretty crazy, he must have built it years later, or built another building (not in the photo) that was later replaced with the current one. We'll have to rethink everything!


George Andreasen
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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by George Andreasen » Sun May 05, 2019 9:00 pm

The visible (gravity) gas pump is the correct height.......most were at least 7' or so.


35mike
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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by 35mike » Mon May 06, 2019 11:19 am

The second car is a Chevrolet from 1926 or 1927.

Mike


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lyonsronnie1
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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by lyonsronnie1 » Mon May 06, 2019 12:46 pm

George Andreasen wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 9:00 pm
The visible (gravity) gas pump is the correct height.......most were at least 7' or so.
Thank you George, I knew they were tall but that one looked huge with the guy standing in front of it. Strangely I don't have any pictures of Mr. Nicholson (who owned three stores in town).... all the info I know is that he was.... small in stature. Maybe we're looking at him?


Topic author
lyonsronnie1
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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by lyonsronnie1 » Mon May 06, 2019 12:48 pm

35mike wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 11:19 am
The second car is a Chevrolet from 1926 or 1927.

Mike
Thank you Mike, and I apologize for desecrating this great forum with a .... well you know. A non-Ford. I wonder if there was a Ford/Chevy rivalry way back then as well?


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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by MWalker » Tue May 07, 2019 8:51 am

It looks as if there was a lot more going on in that town 100 years ago than there is now. :)

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Steve Jelf
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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue May 07, 2019 9:36 am

The visible gas pump is a nice detail, but not much help in dating. Those came into general use in the twenties, but as I remember a lot of them were still in use in the forties. I agree with the runabout being 1923-1925. As the other cars appear to be of a similar vintage, I think the photo is no later than 1930.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


Topic author
lyonsronnie1
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Re: Help me date this photo, if you don't mind!

Post by lyonsronnie1 » Sat May 11, 2019 10:35 pm

MWalker wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:51 am
It looks as if there was a lot more going on in that town 100 years ago than there is now. :)
Unfortunately you're very correct. It was a cotton town, and up until about 2000 was still doing quite well. The factory shut down 1000 feet or so south of this intersection and dried up the entire town. Things are starting to look better though!

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