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A Teenagers Photos of Cars on the Streets of Worthington, Ohio

Don O’Brien grew up in Worthington, OH during the thirties and has been a life-long car and photography enthusiast. He took these photos with his Argus C2 camera during 1938 and 1939 when he was in 9th and 10th grade on the streets of Worthington, a small city and suburb north of Columbus, OH. Many times the images were taken during his high school lunch break.

This is the first in a series of posts that we will be featuring with his early photos and comments with ours at the end of the captions. Let us know if you can add the exact year and model of the vehicles in the images. After World War II, O’Brien’s photography work was in the Worthington News.

  • The lead photo shows a 1937 Studebaker on the west side of High Street (Ohio 23) along the Town Square. Who can tell us more about the accessories on this car that include the wide ribbed bumpers, bumper guards and the brightwork on the front fenders.

1934 0r 1935 LaSalle

  • This photo looks southeast on High Street (U.S. 23) at this Standard Oil Co. SOHIO Servicenter. This photo was taken during the school lunch break. Note the beat up looking 1934 0r 1935 LaSalle that was only a few years old at the time.

three of four Chevrolets and a mid-to-late 1920s Studebaker

  • High Street traffic during the winter of 1938-39, because of the flags I think it was Washington’s birthday in 1939. We see three or four Chevrolets and a mid-to-late 1920s Studebaker?

1930 or 1931 Franklin Sedan

  • The west side of High Street in a downtown block looking northeast. We see a 1930 or 1931 Franklin Sedan, a pair of Chevrolets, one a truck with an aftermarket bed or insert.

1937 or later International Tractor and trailer, a Chevrolet, and a Model "A" Ford Sedan Delivery

An A&P and Kroger were the two chain grocery stores we had in Worthington at that time. We see a 1937 or later International Tractor and trailer, a Chevrolet, and a Model “A” Ford Sedan Delivery? Note the Chevrolet Agency on the right-hand side of the A&P.

8 responses to “A Teenagers Photos of Cars on the Streets of Worthington, Ohio

  1. The LaSalle biplane bumper and grill is a beaut. It’s no wonder these are popular with the customizers. I’m wondering if the quarter window is filled or factory? It doesn’t look right to me.

    • Chuck, I believe that LaSalle is the “club sedan” body style. I know of one in our area, have never seen another like that one.

  2. The LaSalle is a 1934 and it is an incredibly rare car for several reasons – the first being that it is a Town Sedan (close coupled body style), second it is painted a very light color (white, cream, light grey or ….), and third it has the spare tire in the trunk (you are just beginning to see streamlining on luxury cars.

    The Franklin is a 1931 Series 153 Airman Sedan (for those who what to learn the ID – a 153 has 3 doors on the hood and a 1932 163 has 4 hood doors per side, also there are 1933 models with 4 doors on hood, but they are not that different from 32’s. Also in 1931 you could get three Series 151, 152, and 153) – This particular car is in base equipment with wooden wheels and a rear mounted spare tire. I do not really see any options on the car either – no trumpet horns, no grill shell ornament, and etc.

    And, Worthington is one of the nicer more upscale suburbs of Columbus, OH (Ohio’s State Capital)

  3. And, the Sohio filling stations are now BP (British Petroleum)

    Also, in the truck picture – notice the Kroger Grocery Store (now I believe the second largest grocer nationwide and headquartered in Cincinnati).

    My grandfather ran a Liberal Market in Dayton and they made regular runs to Cincinnati to assist Kroger in feeding the animals from the Cincinnati Zoo (that the zoo could not afford to feed during the depression).

  4. The McLaughlin-Ward Co. (truck in photo) is still operating in Spring Arbor, Michigan. According to their website (now Wardcraft) they no longer make grain elevator conveyors which was their main business when the photo was taken.

  5. I,too,grew up in Worthington,Ohio..left there when I graduated Wothington Hi School in 1951..go back several time for class reunion…Nothing compares to growing up in a small city. Thanks for the photos..make me homesick

  6. The Sohio servicenter is very impressive. So modern for that time with the glass exterior and modern pumps. That type wasn’t seen in my area until at least the middle 50s. Thanks again David for all the information and entertainment you bring us each day.

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