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Parking Lot Series: Texas National Guard Camp Brownwood

Camp Brownwood, named after a small city located in the center of the state of Texas was located about 140-miles southwest of Fort Worth. Today’s feature image taken in October 1940 contains hundreds of cars and trucks dating back to the late-1920s in a parking lot for thirty-five hundred workers at the two-thousand-acre site.

The workmen traveled from as far away as California and New York with their families to construct Camp Brownwood, the future home of the Thirty-Sixth Division of the Texas National Guard. The facility was later expanded to include ninety-thousand-acres with sufficient accommodations for forty-thousand men.

Share with us what you find of interest in this parking lot photograph courtesy of University of Texas at Arlington Library.

12 responses to “Parking Lot Series: Texas National Guard Camp Brownwood

  1. Preparation for WWII had begun. A good number of the cars in that lot would have to soldier on until 1947 or 1948.

  2. That looks like a 1940 Chevrolet coupe near the right of the photo. I could be wrong on the id as I don’t see any other 1940 models. If the date is October 1940 this coupe has seen a lot of wear in its first few weeks.

    Not many luxury cars in this lot. Maybe a circa 1934 Cadillac beside the Chevy coupe.

    I wonder how far the owners commuted in these clunkers.

  3. I would not be surprised if further research would not revealed that a lot of temporary housing was not somewhere nearby consisting of trailers or tents especially for those with families. This was right at the end of the great depression so the prospect of good jobs was surely a motivation to travel a great distances for those still unemployed.

  4. There are a lot of Ford Models As of course. Front and centre looks to be a 1928/29 Tudor, and next to it is another one fitted with 1935 wheels. The car closest with the guy leaning on it is a 1929 Buick Model 116 two door sedan, The ‘pregnant model’ that had previously been the Standard Six. The car which DLynskey thought might be a 1934 Cadillac is a 19334/35 Buick, one of the bigger series models – either a 50 or 60. Note the four strips on the hood side. Further left of that, above the A Tudor on stock wheels, the two door sedan with the spare on the back is a 1933 or ’34 Plymouth or Dodge, and two left of that the trunkback sedan is a 1934/35 Buick Series 40. Next left to the Buick is a Chevrolet, might be a 1935 Master two door sedan but might also be a 1936 Standard. I see several late 1930s Mopars there of various sorts.

    • Is that the gas tank slung between the rear fenders of the ’29 Buick? Did the same designer move on to do the Pinto?

    • This photo shows how Hollywood gets it wrong in “period” movies – too many whitewalls and too much shine. In reality, cars back then were generally filthy most of the time.
      Love the guy in the Stetson Open Road hat – a true Texan !

  5. Far right second row 1930-1931 model A Ford pickup truck with some add ons below the tail gate. No rear licence plate. Not an open car in the lot.

    • It has a plate on the bottom of the tail gate. Looks like either 23 995 or 23 996. It’s a bit hard to see because there’s not much contrast between the dark plate and the color of the vehicle and because of the dust.

  6. The name of the Army camp was Camp Bowie. It was located just outside the city of Brownwood. It was active from 1940 to 1946 and was one of the largest in the state.

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