Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Probably the Same Accident?

In my excitement at having new-to-me historic photos in my hands, I typed up my last blog post in about 3 minutes flat before dashing out the door for library storytime. However, reflecting on the photos throughout the day, I started to think that I was probably looking at the same car accident, but from different angles. I mean, what are the chances that there were two separate wrecks right in front of (or in) our house in the 40s/50s? I know this is pre-interstate highway... but, really? It seems fairly obvious now, but like I said... Excited, cursory glances, Tiny People, dashing out the door, etc.

So, here we have the 1946 car accident:

The wreck of the car looks so completely horrifying that I tend to focus on that when I look at the picture. However, the caption for this photo from a newspaper article includes the following:

Those who think traveling on Interstate 81 today is hazardous can't remember what it was like on old U.S. 11 in the days before the federal interstate highway system was created. Heavy trucks moving alongside passenger vehicles on a three-lane road resulted in more than 30 deaths per year in our [our] county alone. This wreck, which occurred in [our] town in about 1946 involved a car and a tractor-trailer. The buildings in the background were on the the side of the main road across from the present day car wash.

You can see the "NOVICK" on the back of the tractor-trailer behind the group of men milling about in the first photo. If you focus on the angle of the tractor trailer, it looks like it is most likely sitting in the middle of where my front porch should be. The angle and size of the truck look like they match up with the tractor-trailer in my newly acquired photo of the accident:

Additionally, the damage done to the Nails Curio & Camera shop in the 1946 accident looks like it matches up with the damage you can see after the vehicles were removed.

Then, there's the fact that you can see a "Nails Curio" sign on my front porch after the vehicles were cleared away. Focusing on the signs for the Traveler's Inn, I didn't notice it at first. But you can see it in both the picture above and below. 

Side note: My backyard used to have giant trees. Now it has none.

True, in the 1946 picture, the "Nails Curio" sign is intact and had neon lighting, but they could have had a sign on either side of the building. I'm thinking that the black square hanging from the awning in the middle of the edge of  the right side of this picture... this Nails Curio sign hanging above the wrecked car.

Anyways, those are my speculations. Sorry for obsessing, I'm sure you guys are bored stiff. What do you think? Same accident?

At least it gives me a starting point for the microfiche. I can look at newspapers from my town in 1946. And since the trees in the background all have full leaves, I can focus on late spring through early fall. I wanted to look at microfiche at the library after storytime today, but something told me Joseph and Juliana wouldn't sit around like patient angels while I dug into old newspapers... Ahhh! Nightmare!


  1. Interesting! Don't be sorry for obsessing! This is cool stuff!!! :) Too bad the library's not open after the babies' bedtime.

  2. I think it's so interesting that there's so much history that you CAN debate if it was the same accident or not! At our house it's like, well, did the first homeowners or the second ones pick this awful brown paint? LOL, not quite so impressive.


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