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Ya Gotta Go That Way!

Todays featured image, like many in the Boston Library Collection, doesn’t  have any background information with it other than the fact that it was taken somewhere in Worcester County, MA, in June of 1953. The man in the hat is directing 1940s and 1950s cars in two lanes of traffic to make a left-hand turn. What is you take on what was happening at the time?

Share with us what you find of interest in this photo courtesy of Digital Commonwealth.

19 responses to “Ya Gotta Go That Way!

  1. Clearly some sporting event. There’s always someone that won’t go with the flow. His wheels aren’t even turned, like he had no intention of going that way. My old man did that as we sunk down in the back seat. Looks like he ignored the 1st guy. Looks like Mass. used a front plate, so this guy isn’t from there, Jersey maybe?

  2. On the right, a ’50 Olds Ninety Eight (grille bar is just between the bumper guards vs a ’51), then a ’50 Ford and a ’49 Chevy.

    In the center, a ’52 Ford, likely a ’47 or ’48 Chevy (side trim mounted above door handle vs earlier models), a ’53 Ford Customline Fordor and a ’51 Chevy (no ribs on the grille bar vs a ’52).

    On the left, concurring with AML, a ’51 Kaiser (separate turn signal lights vs integrated with grille bar in ’52).

    Over to the right at the gas pumps, a ’49 Dodge Coronet Town Sedan (chrome rear quarter splash guard vs black rubber on a Meadowbrook).

      • Thanks for pointing out the one-piece vs. two-piece Kaiser windshields. After all these years of admiring the Kaiser designs, I never noticed the switch to one-piece windshields. Just goes to show a guy can learn something new every day at The Old Motor.

  3. I’m surprised that the photo was taken in Worcester, County, Massachusetts as up until 1967 their license plates were always red, black, or green, and simply had the word “Mass” written on them. Both the Ford and the Kaiser have plates belonging to another state that appears to have a long name attached to it. Anyone know which state those two cars belong to as nothing in the New England area seems to match?

  4. What, no imports?
    A good potpourri of cars. I’ll take them all.
    The oldsmobile is sad because the underpinnings are not beefy enough for the heavy engine. My dad had one and he worked in the oilfields and the rough roads hurried the sagging process. That one looks pretty tall compared to my Dad’s after 60 or 70 thousand miles.

  5. This is a great pic to make my case against my pet peeve (one of many) calling the 49-51 Ford “shoebox”. Compare the 50 Ford to the 49 Chevrolet. Notice how the Ford’s hood is almost at the same height as the fenders. Not so on the Chevrolet (it would be 1955 until they lined up). Note the bolted-on fenders on the Chevrolet, not so on the Ford. The Ford is true envelope body styling. Not even the revolutionary 47 Studebaker could make that boast. “Shoebox” indeed!

  6. I am not positive about what I am about to write, but here go. This location is in Auburn, Mass. This is where Robert Godard played with small rockets. Today very close to this Hill is the Auburn Mall. The gas station is still there but I believe a different company.

  7. June 9, 1953, A severe tornado set down across Worcester County, killing almost 100 people. It went through the northern area of Worcester, I think this picture shows the curiosity seekers being directed away from the devastated area of the city. I lived just 1/4 mile from the path of th storm, but we received only 1” diameter hail, although we could hear the roar off the storm as it went by.

  8. Picture taken north of 135 Gold Star Blvd. Worcester, Mass., looking south. Cars turning left to reverse direction onto West Boylston Street. Factory building above Oldsmobile’s roof is the Worcester Business Center (formerly the headquarters of Thom McAn Shoe Corp.) on Millbrook Street. The construction of I-290 and I-190 in the 1960s and 1970s has somewhat altered the terrain.

  9. Footnote on the ’50 Olds 98. It could have been in a collision that causes the front to look a little more “sad” and the bumper a little more droopy than usual maybe due to not leveling up the bumper brackets during repair. Evidence to support this is that the car uses a replacement ’51 hood which featured a slightly longer, more forward slanting base for the rocket than the prior year as well as the Oldsmobile name in a semi-circle above the emblem as opposed to the ’50s which had the Olds name below the emblem along the bottom front edge of the hood just above the top grille bar.

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