Category Archives: Garages and Dealerships

A Natural Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri, c.1947

The title of this post might seem deceptive at first, but this major artery was so named (Natural Bridge Avenue and Road) because it’s original right of way passed over a naturally occurring stone arch when it was laid out in the 1840′s. This area appears to be part of an “auto row” with a Plymouth-Dodge dealer and a Ford agency visible on the far right side of our top photo and in the center thumbnail (below).

A quick count yielding almost a dozen postwar models on the street reflects the pent up demand for new cars and trucks that developed during World War II and would persist into the early 1950′s. The oldest car we see is a 1933-34 Ford. You’ll find more St. Louis and Missouri related posts and photos on previous pages of The Old Motor. Photo courtesy of the Joe Sonderman Collection.


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Posted in Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Garages and Dealerships | Tagged , , , , , , |

Blackburn’s Garage – A Sign Painter’s Paradise

Blackburn’s Service Station and Used Car Sales was located at 822 Seymour Street in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. This has to be one of the very best photos of it’s type to exist  showing a business of this sort. It is dated May 30, 1928 and was separated into two large shots, the left side (above) and the right at the bottom of the post. Spend some time to peruse both photos and the thumbnails as the details are quite interesting.


It appears that Blackburn’s concentrated on the following; selling used cars, washing and waxing, lubrication and light service work. In the left photo just above we can see a deluxe stand that sold soft drinks and candy along with cigarettes and cigars. Just behind it appears to be the used cars that were in stock and nearest to us is a Buick sedan offered at $1195. The right photo (above) appears to show the office help and salesmen. Under the canopies, Imperial Ethyl gas was sold and a rack of oil bottles is also visible.

Looking closely at the photo (above), we find that the property was offered for sale by Pemberton & Son. Just above the “Used Cars and Storage” sign is another one for the realtor. We can also see signs for parking at 10 cents an hour or 50 cents overnight, fender repairing, battery and tire service and vulcanizing. At the far right there’s an outdoor lift and a washing and greasing bay. Tell us all about any of the vehicles that you can identify. The photo by W.J. Moore, is courtesy of the City of Vancouver.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Garages and Dealerships, Gasoline stations, Trucks, Buses and Equipment | Tagged , , , , |

Fred Cheeseman’s Auburn Auto Sales and Service – Vancouver, B.C.

You might have seen our photos of  Cheeseman’s Goodyear Tire  and Service Garage posted here back on July 18 and this shop obviously predates it by a few years. It’s Fred G. Cheeseman’s Garage located at 1147 Howe Street in Vancouver, B.C., which was photographed on April 27, 1933, and a clean and tidy operation it appears to be. Although we can’t say for sure that these two businesses were operated by the same man, we think it’s a safe bet that they might be. Note the array of Bear wheel alignment tools prominently displayed in the showroom window and the large banner promoting the latest in car radios.


The skylights providing lots of natural light in the service bays allow us to get a good look at an intriguing piece of equipment in the center thumbnail (above). At first glance, it seemed like this was a simple alignment rack, but the rollers and gearbox under the rear wheels tell us that it is a brake testing machine. A similar Bendix-Cowdrey testing machine can be seen (above right). Auburn fans follow this link and find more interesting articles about them. These images by photographer Stuart Thomson, courtesy of the City of Vancouver.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Garages and Dealerships | Tagged , , , , |