2.09.2015

Kodachrome Classic Monday #32

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: The Camera Store

Why: I don't often come across an image that so seamlessly combines so many of my interests.  This one image includes Kodachrome, cameras, history, and even a vestige of public transit!     

When: The mount is labeled 1953, the same year as the Plymouth parked here.  

Where: Dayton OH. Never have I seen such an interesting combination of clues lead me down such a road of frustration as I have in this image.  Without perusing a single clue, I had assumed this to be in Michigan or Iowa based on other slides in the set, but a closer look at the advertisement on the store to the left reveals "Gem City Ice Cream," a local product in the Dayton Area. A look at the wires above the street reveals a pair of trolley bus wires (Dayton is one of few cities to still have this infrastructure) and maps are readily available to show both present and prior wiring set ups for this system.  Add in the pair of business names and an address of "838" on the camera store, and it would seem the clues would be ample to find this location today.  If only.


Using a pair of trolley bus maps as my guides, I scanned the 800 blocks of every segment of street that I could find, a task made particularly cumbersome and complicated by the arcane street numbering setup in Dayton where most streets start their numbering at 1 at the origin of that particular street, and not on the street's distance from the axis streets in the centralized grid.  As a result, the 800 block of one street may coincide with the 300 block of a directly parallel street. 

What started as a curious challenge nearly into a largely dead end.  Besides the street numbering oddities, the construction of high speed U.S. 35 and Interstate 75, as well as a rather significant amount of urban renewal left me high and dry as far as anything conclusive.  I was at least able to rule out a number of locations, as they either had a vintage building 838 that didn't at all match this one, or they had grassy areas and low density housing in the 800 block.  I tried Google searches of the businesses and old Dayton photos and came up empty as well.  As a result, all I can offer is a best guess which was the lucky result of looking at the historical imagery in Google Street View, as the scene has since changed quite a bit since the initial 2007 pass through. 


View Larger Map


2007 Screen Shot:

The Building in the 2007 shot is situated at lot 838, as the small building in the backdrop at left is spray painted "840."  The flags on the left of the original image appear to show a small car lot located there, and the 2007 shot shows vestiges of a similar business.  The building prominent in the 2007 shot, while cosmetically different from that in the Kodachrome, appears to have identical dimensions.  And a close look the curbing to the left of the building in both shots seems to show an identical curvature in the entry ramp to the lot, while the green trolley bus span wire pole is in the same spot in relation to the dimensions of the building in both photos.  Could it be that I've finally pinpointed this one!  

Who: One customer can be seen inside the camera store if you look closely.      

How (much): This was in a small collection that I picked up in a pair of Kodaslide boxes on ebay for about $15.00.  All told, it cost me only a few cents with all things factored in, but this is one of the more interesting shots of the batch.