9.08.2014

Classic Kodachrome Monday #10


Every Monday, I'll be spotlighting a different classic Kodachrome slide that I've picked up, and trying where I can to detail the who, what, when, where, why, and how(much) of the image:

This Week:

What: A City Skyline, taken from what may be the seat of a car heading through traffic.  Likely a 10ASA Kodachrome image; this shot is mounted in glass.

 
Why: Jaw droppingly vivid and filled with scenic tidbits, this shot really does portray the feeling of being there in an entirely different era.  Though some color restoration was required, the overall feel of the image is still incredibly real!  

When: This is the scary part.  This image almost certainly dates to the Spring of 1943!  I have images from the same collection which clearly more show the license plates of the cars (California) that look identical to the plates shown here, and the "V" cap on the top right is identifies them as 1943
.

Where: Took a little sleuthing, but I found it.  Since the slides came from Michigan, my initial thought was Detroit, but a closer look at this photo shows not only California plates. but also the use of the "Wiley" type traffic signals, that were the signature of San Francisco.  The skyline did not match Los Angeles or San Diego, and besides, there are no mountains to be seen beyond the skyline.  The streetcar tracks were a huge help, as while I didn't recognize them from previous visits to San Francisco, I was able to look up a list of defunct streetcar routes to discover both a Geary and a Portrero streetcar line that was converted to buses after World War II.  While the Geary was my first thought, I could not find a decisive match, and upon scanning some of the Portrero corridor, I stumbled upon the exact location of the photo, half a block south of 16th Street.  Below is a view of the intersection today:


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Who: I have no idea who the jaywalkers are.

How (much): I picked this up in a batch of 75 for about $18 including postage.  I got at least 8 good slides from the batch, so this amazing image cost me no more than $2.25 at the most, the way I see it.

Addendum: Bonus image almost certainly taken on this same trip, looking towards Downtown from the Twin Peaks during what seems to be the golden hour...