ACL Kodachromes Part IX

Thirteen more images from the ACL Kodachrome collection. This series helps to further reinforce the importance the automobile had on American culture in the late 1940s and 1950s. So many of these old photos involve cars in one way or another, it is astonishing to me. When thinking about all of the images I have obtained the two main things I have learned about this time in America is: people loved to go fishing (fishing photos make up probably 30% of all of the slides I own) and that there are few things more fun (or important) than a car. Without one how would you and your buddies go fishing?

More ACL Kodachromes here.

Comments on “ACL Kodachromes Part IX

    Trevor on October 15, 2010 9:21 AM:

    Just think how much more time they had to go fishing. Today were on the internet (ACL anyone?) and have 1000 TV channels.

    But when I look at my dad’s old photo’s they are always at a lake or something too.

    Ramalhoni on October 15, 2010 9:22 AM:

    I have yet to achieve the pleasure of fishing, but the cars I’ve had it for some time. I can’t go anywhere without taking pics with cars, and of cars !….

    Tim on October 15, 2010 9:40 AM:

    Wow, the Niagara Falls (USA) skyline hasn’t really changed that much. Great set of photos. Thx.

    Ray T on October 15, 2010 10:42 AM:

    Tim, your comment about how little the skyline has changed over the years reminded me of something I saw on’s iReport some months back. People grabbed old photos of places near them, then went to the place in the photo and lined everything up to take a new photo. It integrated old and new and was pretty interesting to see how much or how little things changed over the decades. I’m sure a lot of you have seen this already, but if you haven’t, here’s a link:

    Paul on October 15, 2010 11:34 AM:

    I keep looking at these chromes thinking that eventually I’ll see a picture of my grandfather and his brothers (and their women). They loved their cars and fishing, so I suppose it’s just a matter of time…

    Michael on October 15, 2010 11:47 AM:

    There is a monster bass in that last picture of fish!

    dudewhonoticesdudeincrazyglasses on October 15, 2010 12:26 PM:

    That dude in the first pic has some crazy glasses.

    JFD on October 15, 2010 12:28 PM:

    I was born in 1953 and so I was a young lad in the 50s and the pre-Beatles 60s. The world, no surprise, really did look like this. I have a big box of my dad’s slides (argus cameras anyone?) unintentionally featuring our olive/pale yellow gloriously finned ’59 Chevy station wagon, yellowstone bears, and the ’62 Seattle World’s Fair (a 1000 mile family road trip vacation).

    These guys could all be my dad and his friends and the women could all be my mother.

    Such days to grow up.

    enzo the baker on October 15, 2010 1:40 PM:

    great photos.

    like the way the cabins are camouflaged by the trees in the last shot.

    Gordon Ye Ole General Store on October 15, 2010 4:39 PM:

    Fedora and shades in first picture are awesome! Love these pictures; thanks Michael.

    JLSLC on October 15, 2010 4:41 PM:

    How common were cameras in this era? I’m just wondering if people who could afford (or were inclined to own) such a gadget were more likely to own and photograph an automobile.

    For that matter, was the auto-owning set so enthusiastic about photographing their fishing trips because they were rare diversions from their increasingly sterile, suburban existence?

    sam on October 15, 2010 4:42 PM:

    dude with his baby has some chill style. i’m down.

    Small Town Boy on October 15, 2010 5:22 PM:

    Beautiful pics, as usual. And some monster largemouth! But where exactly were these taken? You speak of “American Culture” ! gotta say, but being from Ontario, man, everything about these really looks Canadian! And the shot of the Falls is taken from the Canadian side.

    blake on October 15, 2010 6:24 PM:

    none of these dudes would be caught dead talking about the clothes they wear, either

    Nick Gill on October 15, 2010 6:30 PM:

    Photograph *6 I find very alluring. That’s an awful lot of camber on the road, and there appears to be a disconnect between the vertical axis indicated by the telegraph poles and the vertical of the trees. Has the camera been inclined, aligning itself with the false vertical, thus exacerbating the road camber? I just can’t tell. The image holds a lot of tension for me and so is my pick ‘o’ the bunch.

    Andrea on October 15, 2010 9:35 PM:

    Never mind the fish, I’m intrigued by the Model A in the background of photo #10.

    Noah on October 15, 2010 11:49 PM:

    The only reason I have a car is to move the boat around.

    Ed on October 16, 2010 8:34 AM:

    JLSLC – are you joking? Inexpensive cameras have been available for over 100 years. So yes, this amazing photographic taking device was quite popular in the 1950’s for even regular folks. Not just the monocle-in-the-eye, top-hat wearing class of people slumming it in the woods or the lake on the weekend.

    robbie on October 17, 2010 12:00 AM:

    Senor Williams,

    Thank you for sharing these, the task of having them scanned etc can be burdensome and rather costly. I appreciate you sharing these to us FREE. Oftentimes large collections of found photographs like these sit still, or are only published in costlier subscription based magazines.

    I really do love the shot of the younger couple in the diner. It could be anyone, and could have been taken almost anywhere. It encapsulates a mood that is harder and harder to stumble upon these days… the optimism, and hope you can tell these two have without even really seeing their faces.

    Your collection makes me wish that kodak would reneg and bring back kodachrome and many of its other fine films lost to history, in particular the kodachrome movie film, it is excellent for making short films, and IIRC up until its demise many surf documentarians were using it as well since the super8’s require no electricity or batteries.

    Anyhow, thanks as always for curating such a wonderful collection of ideas for us.


    John on October 17, 2010 1:46 AM:

    I love the ACL kodachrome series. I just saw that Dwayne’s photo in Parsons, KS will stop processing kodachrome on December 30th. Have your rolls in by noon that day. They are the very last lab on planet earth to use the k-14 process (unless there’s some lab in China that still does it, but I doubt it). As much as I love my 5D I do wish there was still a place for the very unique kodachrome image. You couldn’t duplicate it if you tried with master photoshop knowledge.

    Kodachrome RIP.

    Elias on October 17, 2010 6:05 PM:

    Beautiful series! Kodachrome is just colours and emotions that are very hard if not impossible to replicate today! Everything seems to have been better back then, both aesthetically and the overall way of life!

    WIsco on October 18, 2010 11:13 AM:

    I absolutely love your Kodachrome postings. These are real people wearing real clothes just living their lives, not the poseur-models we see all over the blogosphere regaling about their style when they are mostly mannequins with smiles.

    The gentleman in pic #1 captures everything I love about fishing, including the “fish slime/guts/blood” on his pants!

    Benjamin Boerum on October 18, 2010 11:35 AM:

    Lovely- any idea what mountain pass that is in the sixth image down?


    Claire on October 18, 2010 3:13 PM:

    I just love this series. Thanks again for the wonderful photos :)

    I wonder about their stories…in # 5, are they in love or is that a bro & sis look of banter?

    Where were they going on this road trip?? Newlyweds??

    And the proud papa & baby in 3 & 11…. those eyes!!

    I heard (on the CBC — maybe DNTO?) that most new parents take 1000s pictures of their new baby each year…..but have no idea how to catalog/show the photos.

    Ahhh….nostalgia for simpler times :)

    Logcabineer on October 21, 2010 12:08 PM:

    A book a book a book! pls.

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