Saturday, May 25, 2024

Random USA

Like the title of today's post says, it's kind of a random selection of slide scans today - but that doesn't mean that they aren't good!

For instance - check out this fun scan from July, 1958, featuring three people enjoying the view from the John A. Roebling suspension bridge, which spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky. The bridge was completed in 1866, and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time. I just find this photo to be charming! That's Cincinnati in the distance, including the Union Central Life Insurance building.

Here's a contemporary view of the bridge (it's a beauty) - it was a precursor to Roebling's next record-breaking bridge - the Brooklyn Bridge. You can see a family resemblance! 

This next scan is one of those "crazy internet stories". I bought this slide (dated "June 1952") from eBay on a whim, and put it away for a long time. When I recently scanned it, I of course wanted to figure out the location. To the right is "Trumbull Chevrolet" (hard to read in the lower-res jpeg shared here), so that's what I used as a clue for Google.

Imagine my surprise when I found a Facebook post featuring the very slide that I owned! Somebody  grabbed a jpeg from eBay and had done their own detective work, also using Trumbull Chevrolet as a clue. It turns out that the view shows Michigan Avenue (near Brooklyn Street) in Detroit. Amazing.

Here's my own screen grab from Google Maps "street view".


Nanook said...

That bridge is a beauty. I believe I've travelled on it for one of my trips to Cincinnati. That's a 1955 Chevrolet, probably in Regal Turquoise.

Nice work with Trumball Chevrolet... "Love at first sight", indeed.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

1 & 2) Yes, definitely a family resemblance. Cousins. On the father's side of the family. You can tell by the broad shoulders. Really nice exposure in that first pic. Looks like you could step right into it.

3 et al.) Lookit all that glistening chrome! CORBY'S! I had to say it because the sign told me to. That tall, stocky, impressive building (above the Corby's sign) seems to be missing from the recent photo. That's too bad; it added a lot to the skyline. To the right we see, "Home of Sydney Chairs". Who was Sydney Chairs, and why is his name plastered on that building? ;-)

Another enjoyable Saturday travelogue. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

JB, my eye went right to that building, as well. It looks like it is still standing. It's just the view of it from that same spot is now blocked. Here's a view of it, after moving closer to it:,-83.0502625,3a,44y,113.48h,106.31t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sFEQFDzBIW56MeZMryvXbeQ!2e0!!7i16384!8i8192?coh=205410&entry=ttu

I'm glad to see that it wasn't torn down. Maybe they don't quite ruin everything.

TokyoMagic! said...

Okay, I went down the rabbit hole a little with that building. It's called the Greater Penobscot Building (named after the Penobscot River in Maine), and was built in 1928. Upon completion, it was the eighth tallest building in the world, fourth tallest in the United States, and the tallest outside of New York and Chicago. And that's a red neon beacon tower on it's roof.

Here's a look at the main entrance. Zoom in for a closer look at the art deco American Indian Chief, poised above that huge archway:,-83.0471427,3a,90y,236.58h,120.13t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sttDXuBtVxooTKyWXwNt52Q!2e0!!7i16384!8i8192?coh=205410&entry=ttu

Wikipedia claims that the first televisions in Michigan, were sold in one of the building's retail spaces. Also, early in Barbra Streisand's career, she appeared as one of the lounge singers in the Caucus Club, in 1961.

And now you know.

JG said...

Major, these are wonderful.

The stories of the photos are at least as interesting as the photos’ subjects.

Thank you!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, maybe the person in the Chevrolet is listening to WKRP?

JB, I love the look of bridges like the John A. Roebling bridge, I’d feel very safe crossing it? Unlike other bridges, where I cry a lot. Funny, I saw that “Sydney Chairs” building and thought that the name would be a good one for a detective. For some reason.

TokyoMagic!, oh THAT tall stocky building (the one that JB was referring to), I misunderstood. Funny, I actually have another nice vintage photo that has that building big in the frame, probably from the 1950s. I forget the name.

TokyoMagic!, that’s it! The Greater Penobscot Building. It’s pretty great! It looks much lighter in the Google Maps image, I wonder if it has been cleaned of decades of grime? I love those old Art Deco skyscrapers, they really have style. Though in my slide the Penobscot is so dark that it looks a little bit evil.

JG, thanks!

Melissa said...

These are real beauties today. The bridge is gorgeous, and so is that yellow dress. I wish I could wear that shade, but it makes me look jaundiced. The "Azteca" blade sign in the second picture makes me think of the movie palace on The Simpsons. Thanks for that link to the Penobscot Building, TM!

Bu said...

Cinci! Home of Kings Island!'s close...I remember driving from downtown to where I was working and passed the "Eiffel Tower" while on the road. I got super excited as memories of the Brady's and the Partridges came back. Who doesn't like a theme park with a roller coaster called "Son of a Beast"...King's Island has a couple of "one degree of separation" from Disneyland, and has it's own history as well. That being said: when I was in Cincinatti our modus operandi was to do what you needed to do: and skedaddle on to the next city. There was one hotel in town: the old hotel, with 80's-90's "updates"...and an interesting "holiday display" in the lobby. Lots of carolers with rolling heads....need I say more? It looks like Hilton has taken over and the rooms have got even's a cool old building however...and downtown kind of felt deserted like a Twilight Zone episode. I love the bridge and can say that I never crossed it or saw it...and the deco building with the multiple terraces is amazing. I wish someone would build something like that again with the same attention to detail. It's expensive, but magic cost money! Maybe at my fantasy Disneyland, there will be a resort hotel inspired by such buildings: but not tacky like Vegas...and not strangely odd like the Cincinattian on the offense Hilton....note to those who stay in Hiltons: beware of "blue" LED lightbulbs...they make you look horrible, and give the room a "prison" feel. I travel with lightbulbs...I am crazy...yes....but 3000K is much better than the 5000K in these rooms...we all have our stuff. Thanks Major!

JB said...

Tokyo!, thanks for the research and links. I'm also glad they didn't TRE it. I bet a lot of locals agree.

Dean Finder said...

Bu, I don't install my own bulbs in hotel rooms, but I will go through all of the lights in one and only use the ones that have decent color, even if it means the room is dim and I have to cross the room to use it.

Odd thing about those more ornate styles of architecture - there have been public polls for public buildings in Europe and traditional designs win out by large margins over modern designs. Also, those older designs and construction techniques are more amenable to reuse than modern architecture. I can't remember which US university has one library from the 1800s that has been successfully renovated and is still in use and a modern one from the 1970s that has to be razed because it cannot be rehabbed.