All That's Trucking

History in high-rez

May 7, 2012

If you're interested in trucking history or just enjoy photos of old trucks, here's a website for you: Shorpy Historical Photo Archive


Just search for "truck" (there's also a Cars & Trucks gallery) and you'll pull up all sorts of interesting old photos, like this one from 1921 of a truck stuck axle-deep in the mud in Washington, D.C. There are also often interesting and illuminating comments. For instance, one points out that this is a Walker Electric truck. Another has a bit of information about the American Railway Express company name painted on the side -- fast-parcel service, sort of like UPS or FedEx, but using trains instead of planes.

There's a wonderful color image of field workers in Mississippi circa 1940 showing a red international stake truck; trucks at a produce market in 1941 in Chicago; vintage well drilling in 1904; Santa loading or unloading another Railway Express truck in 1924; a four-wheel-drive hill-climbing demonstration from about 1928; fire trucks and more.

What the heck is a Shorpy? is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago near Birmingham, Ala.

You can buy fine-art prints of many of the photos on the site; most are from the Library of Congress research archive, although registered users can post photos as well.

We'll be celebrating HDT's 90th birthday later this year, so watch for more walks down trucking's memory lane.

Related article on

And you thought electric trucks were a recent invention....