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Fifties Style Gridlock on the Streets of Philadelphia

We are back in Philadelphia once again, and this time it is for a traffic jam on one of the City’s thoroughfares. Surveyor General Thomas Holme began laying out a grid of streets in 1682 in a rectangular pattern according to William Penn’s plan that consisted of four distinct sections each centered on a public park and a square. Later in 1917, the mile-long Benjamin Franklin Parkway was constructed which cuts across a part of the city diagonally northwest beginning at City Hall.

This image taken some thirty years later shows the congestion that results from thousands of cars and trucks that overload the City’s grid during morning and evening rush hours. Some sixty-five-years after this photo was taken it gives us an excellent opportunity to observe a representative slice of vehicles on the streets at the time which are led by a “Bathtub” Nash four-door sedan. Tell us what you find of interest in this image courtesy of PhillyHistory.

8 responses to “Fifties Style Gridlock on the Streets of Philadelphia

  1. The bathtub Nash, as good a car as it was ,was all wrong for the postwar market, while the stepdown Hudson got it all right, as did GM with it’s beautiful postwar offerings. Beautify is in the eye of the beholder but few eyes wanted to buy a Nash, as my home town Nash dealer learned. The 1951 Chevrolet convertible, identical to the second car in line, was my college car. A fine car except for its powerglide transmission.

  2. Behind the Nash is a 1951 Chevy and a 1954 Ford.
    On the left is a 1954 Dodge wagon, a 1953 Plymouth taxi, and a 1952 Plymouth.
    I’m working on the name of the Taxi company. The name appears to be “Penn xxx Cab”
    CH8-2020. I had no luck with a reverse phone number lookup of 248-2020.

  3. An incredibly narrow street plus there appear to be (trolley?) tracks running down the very middle. Wonder how that worked?

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