There isn’t much to really say here, except that this is why snapshots are great.
The camera in at least the woman’s hand in this great shot looks to me to be a 1920s Kodak Brownie No. 3, Model B. According to what I have found online, the camera was produced from 1908 – 1934, but the trigger guard visible below her thumb was added to the Model B from 1920 – and the rest appears to match that particular camera, as shown below.
This shot is dated February 11, 1930, notes the streets on the back and also mentions “Bay in background” – and you can indeed see it if you enlarge the photo enough. A quick check online reveals that unfortunately nothing in this photo seems to exist today. The block in the middle is open space, and the surrounding streets are occupied by the typical contemporary mishmash of larger buildings. Another step “forward” in American urban planning.
Following on from my last post, on a very early automobile being scrutinized by some people from their window, here is another transportation-related shot involving a transition between eras. It looks like it was probably a good way of getting around. The people in the car certainly seem intrigued.
I have always been curious about the period in which horses, buggies/wagons and cars coexisted, and several years ago met a man in his mid-nineties living in Covina, CA (near where I grew up) who described arriving there from Texas (via a just-opened Route 66) about 1927. He said people on horseback were still somewhat common in that small town at the time, though I don’t know about buggies or wagons.
I came across a sort of charming description of the transition to automobiles in a rural town in a 1960s book called The Situation in Flushing by Edmund Love:
“At the time of my birth, in 1912, the village of Flushing, in Michigan, was still in the horse-and-buggy age. There were only five automobiles in the whole village . . . it would be difficult to say just when it was that the automobiles outnumbered the horses and buggies on Main Street. The farm wagons disappeared one by one and the cars took their places, but I have always felt that I looked up one morning and found it all different. There were no horses and buggies left. Instead of five automobiles in the town there were five hundred.”