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Philadelphia Traffic on Race Street Entering the Delaware River Bridge

Race Street (US 30) appears to be an appropriate name for this Philadelphia thoroughfare which joined the entrance to the Delaware River Bridge in the foreground of the photo. According to the source, the image was taken on September 7, 1950. The structure was later renamed the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in 1955. The entrance was also realigned and is now accessed from I-676 which crosses the center of Philadelphia from east to west and enters Camden, New Jersey on the east side of the bridge.

Apparently the oldest automobile in the scene, a Ford dates from 1933 to ’34, and newest models are then current 1950 vehicles, one of the cars has a low number two-digit license plate.

Share with us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of the Temple University photo archives.

18 responses to “Philadelphia Traffic on Race Street Entering the Delaware River Bridge

  1. In the 2nd photograph, in the lower left corner, is the tail-end of either a four-door 1949 or ’50 KAISER and to its right is a four-door circa 1949 PACKARD.

    By the way great picture !!

  2. In the lead photograph, on the far right and 2nd car back, is a 1946 BUICK; and in the same picture, left of center, are a pair of 1950 STUDEBACKER cars.

  3. The park at the right background is Monument Plaza at the intersection of Race and N 6th St. Today it features a modern sculpture called the “Bolt of Lightening”, to commemorate Ben Franklin’s famous electricity experiment with the kite.

  4. At the far end of the second column from the right (you can see it better in the close-up view in the first image) is a 49 or 50 Ford wagon. And visible in the wider image, just to its left, (our right) is a Willys Jeep wagon…either police, postal, Hi-way dept. or city service

  5. The origin of the “bottleneck”. All the frumpy looking faces on all the cars, even the bus looks cross,,except the Nash, big smile. Appears the truck behind the 1st bus is just about ready for an overhaul, and can’t ID the semi, but looks like an IH cab, so I’ll say a postwar K model IH. I think the Willys is a 2 wheel drive wagon, and looks like Police on the door.

  6. It must have been a hot muggy day…every vehicle with a cowl vent has it open, lots of elbows out the windows too. My favorite mode is that beauty 1936 Chevy Sedan in the lower left.

  7. Now this is how I remember cars on the road in the 1950s! While I see at least two ’49/’50 Oldsmobiles, I think two ’49/’50 Pontiacs, , several Buicks, and three or four Chevrolets, along with a bathtub Nash, two Studebakers, Cadillacs, and a few other interesting “new” cars. I also see at least seven pre-war cars, including the about ’34 (you say Ford? I couldn’t see enough detail to be sure?) back near the big truck. Of course, one of the older cars is the one pulled out of traffic, parked with the hood up!
    Maybe I grew up in a poor area? Maybe because I was always looking for the older cars even when I was four years old? I remember lots of pre-war cars on the streets in the mid to late ’50s.
    And by the way. What year IS that woody wagon likely to be? Pre or post war?

    Another wonderful photo David G, thank you!

    • Hey, Wayne! This is also how I remember cars of the 1950s. You used to see everything. In 1963, you still saw old cars in my home town. There was a man there who used a red 20’s Reo as his daily ride. It was his only car.

  8. In the 2nd photograph, it appears the Airflyte NASH looks like it has been super imposed on to the photograph. The car looks a little too small compared to the ’50 BUICK Special next to it. The NASH would be approximately 62 inches tall vs. the BUICK 63 inches. The NASH would be approximately 77.5 inches wide and the BUICK 79 inches. The NASH’s bumperettes don’t look correct. Also the license plates [ 41] on the NASH and [ 42A ] on the BUICK don’t look right.

  9. The thirties car, dead centre of the photo, is a 1937 Oldsmobile 8. There is a 1936 Chevrolet Standard coach next to the (very rare??) Dodge woody near the front. Looks like a ’37 Plymouth receiving some attention over to the left. Odd it is two tone.

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