An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Harold Corsini – U.S. Steel Automotive Advertising Photos Part I

Harold Corsini (1919-2008) was a noted and gifted professional photographer and artist who was active in the period between the early 1940s t0 1970s. During that time he worked for “Life” magazine, Standard Oil, and after moving to Pittsburgh, PA, the U.S. Steel Company.

After retirement Corsini was commissioned by Helen Clay Frick of the Frick Art Museum to photograph all of the institution’s objects. He also photographed the famous “Fallingwater” home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in a series of images taken during the four seasons of a year.

Today’s feature image by Harold Corsini is one of a series of pictures by the photographer taken for U.S. Steel in 1964 containing vehicles arranged on a location in different areas of the County. This photo was staged by the Artist on the Port Townsend, WA ferry boat “Defiance” that traveled between the seaport northwest of Seattle at the mouth of the Puget Sound to Whidbey Island.

Share with us what you find of interest and the details of the pair of AMC Ramblers, the Mercury sedan, a Buick Special station wagon, and the Studebaker “GT” Hawk visible in the circa 1964 photograph courtesy of the Corsini family and the the University of Pittsburgh Library.


20 responses to “Harold Corsini – U.S. Steel Automotive Advertising Photos Part I

    • Washington State Ferries have had, for many decades, green and black trim on an all white boat. This appears to be an older boat that was owned by a private party .

  1. My best guesses…on the left a ’64 Ambassador (the grille has a horizontal divide vs a Classic’s), a ’64 Mercury…hard to tell the model but it appears to have the Breezeway roof and maybe bucket seats/console (there was no S-55 in ’64 or ’65), then a ’64 Rambler American 440 Hardtop (continuous, unsegmented grille vs ’65) and likely a ’62 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk (appears to have no emblem in the grille vs the last two years’ models). Lastly a ’64 Buick Special station wagon.

    • Sorry to disappoint you Will, we thought that the quality of the photo of the cars, the boat and the text and links would be interesting enough for our readers. There are more to come in the future.

  2. What is the common thread that connects these cars? Made with U. S. Steel? mid-60s models? Part of a collection belonging to the man standing by them?? And who is that man standing on the lower deck?

  3. If the Ferries were then as they are now, they are operated by the state.
    Today they’re overpriced…if you take a car aboard and everyone in the State gets part of their car license fee used to support them, whether they use them or not.
    Still, you get islanders complaining they aren’t subsidized enough, and want less wealthy people throughout the state to pay more so they can get to their expensive island homes at reduced cost.
    Oh well.

    • Raoul, as one of those “islanders”, I might be tempted to make a similarly nasty remark about the state highways in remote eastern Washington (which I am unlikely to ever use, but contribute to the maintenance of anyway….), but I have better manners than that, esp. in public!

  4. The cars appear to be parked rather haphazardly. When I take a ferry across Lake Champlain the crew packs them in like sardines.

  5. Curious how the photo was taken, helicopter, skt hooks ??? If that’s promo for U.S. Steel you would think they would use a less rusty ship. That ferry is way to small for a Washington State boat.

  6. Olympic Ferries operated between Port Townsend and Keystone Harbor on Whidbey Island. They purchased the Defiance in 1952, and sold it in 1970. The State of Washington took over the route when Olympic went bankrupt in 1974. The Defiance was never operated by the state. It was last used as a fish-processing vessel, eventually moved to Alaska, and was listed by the Coast Guard as out of service in 2006.

    The reason that license fees go toward ferry operations is that the ferry system is regarded as part of the State Highway System.

  7. Some information on the Ferry Defiance .

    Washington State Ferries inherited the route from Port Townsend to tricky
    Keystone Harbor when Olympic Ferries Inc, who’d been operating the route
    since 1948, went out of business and ended service in the fall of 1973. The
    Governor stepped in and ordered WSF to take up the route, and in June, 1974
    service began with the ferry Olympic.
    Built in 1927 by the Skansie Brothers Shipyard in Gig Harbor, Washington, the
    diesel ferry had first operated from Point Defiance (which is where she got her
    name) to Gig Harbor on the Kitsap Peninsula. Operated by the Washington
    Navigation Company, which also owned the Skansonia, City of Tacoma,
    Wollochet and a number of smaller vessels, the ferry worked the southern arm
    of Puget Sound under charter for Pierce County until declaring bankruptcy in
    1935. By 1938, the county had purchased a few ferries and given the charter
    to another company; the opening of Tacoma Narrows Bridge finished off
    Washington Navigation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *