Spooky, c1920

Today is a travel day for me so you have to take what you can get. Here’s an image that I’ve kept because it looks spooky and I have no explanation for it. Why are there cars on the grass? Why was this photo even taken?

Walking and driving towards campus mid1920s

They all kind of look like zombies, don’t they?

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4 Responses to Spooky, c1920

  1. Did you grow up in Texas? Are you strictly a city mouse? I ask because is that both my parents were farm kids, so I spent plenty of time visiting the country for family events. In small towns, even now, people use grass areas for overflow parking, especially in areas that don’t have concrete curbs. Can’t comment on the zombies…

    • Melissa Kean says:

      No, I’ve spent plenty of time on the farm. It just looks odd to see cars in that particular spot–I would have expected them out by the athletic field but not headed for the dorms. And I’ll bet you’re right about there being no concrete curbs there yet. This might be as early as 1917.

  2. That is an extremely wide angle photograph. It looks like a photo from a Cirkut camera. That was a rotating camera with a slit aperature to make very wide (but not very tall) photographs. They were most often used for group photos with everyone posed in an arc. The odd far-and-near perspective on the building seems like a Cirkut artifact.

    If it was a Cirkut photo, it was either posed or a test/setup shot that they decided to print.

    This is a detailed article about Cirkut cameras. The one they describe was sold from 1907 to 1926.

    What size is the print? The Cirkut camera in the article used 36 inches of film, which would have been contact printed for a 36 inch wide print.


  3. Yes, this is early enough in the automotive era that the concept of parking as we know it was in its infancy. Basically, except on busy city streets, you could stop your car anywhere. Hard to be sure from the rear but those cars could certainly be pre-1920. You’ve posted other pictures of the period where cars are haphazardly scattered.

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