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The Pacific Railway & Steamship Clearing Agency Tire Sale


The Great Depression had a devastating effect on the economy across the land, and was at its darkest point when this set of photos was taken during 1933. By this time close to twenty-five percent of Americans were unemployed, and nearly half of the country’s banks had failed.

The details of the tire sale appear to have been lost to history, but the signage in one of the images, does give us a clue about the circumstances involved behind it. Apparently by the time they were shipped to the Los Angeles area, the dealers who placed the orders could not pay for them or the shipping charges.

R&S2      R&S5      R&S4

It appears that Guy Bryan or the Pacific Railway and Steamship Clearing Agency rented the Gire Warehouse at 722 Aliso Street in Monterey Park, California, to sell them. The Dick Whittington Studio took these photos of the effort, with presumably Bryan, the models and a Lincoln Sedan as a prop for advertising purposes.

One of the models is holding an NRA poster with the Blue Eagle emblem which represents the National Recovery Administration, which was formed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help end the depression. All photos are courtesy of the USC Libraries.


3 responses to “The Pacific Railway & Steamship Clearing Agency Tire Sale

  1. Why was Cheesecake always white- clad in the thirties? Since they’re touting the NRA (Not the National Rifle Assn.) and since the Supreme Court struck it down in late 1934, this photo could be taken only in the months of 1933-34 that it stayed on the books.

  2. White cheesecake? One possibility: 1930s camera films weren’t all “panchromatic”, and could render certain light with varying degrees of accuracy. So what looks like “white” to us, could have been white, pink, yellow, beige, light blue, etc.

    Also, most aspects of 1933’s National Industrial Recovery Act weren’t judged unconstitutional until the Supreme Court heard the Schechter Poultry Company vs. United States case, in May 1935. Thus, NRA (National Recovery Administration) eagles were prominently displayed across the United States in 1933, 1934, and halfway through 1935.

    Tom M.

    • Tom: You’re correct I forgot the date of the Schechter case. However i don’t think I’ve ever seen an Eagle in 1935. I don’t know if they fired a starting gun but the We Do Our Part signs were gone about as quickly as Swastikas in 1945.

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