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1940 Fort Worth Texas Street Scenes

Today’s lead image was taken on July 17, 1940, in Fort Worth, Texas, looking north on Houston St. to document double parking which at the time was a newly added traffic violation on the City streets.

The second photo (below) was shot on September 25, 1940, on Main St. looking towards the Tarrant County Court House that is visible in the distance. Note the brick-paved streets and the oldest automobile visible in the pictures, which is a 1930 Model “A” Ford.

Share with us what you find of interest in the photographs from the “Fort Worth Star-Telegram” newspaper collection courtesy of the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

18 responses to “1940 Fort Worth Texas Street Scenes

  1. A hot, steamy July day in Houston. Back when you could park downtown at the curb with your windows open and unlocked. My… times have changed!

  2. I love the signs in these old photos. Some folks may say it’s eye pollution, but I think it’s a great look at Americana. Mr. Zinke was ahead of his time. His sign is understandable in all languages.
    It must have been a hot day that July. Look at all the cars gasping for air. Most of the ‘wing’ or ‘vent’ or ‘smoker’s’ windows are open. The car approaching has the air scoop open. This scoop was not operated electronically. The driver didn’t have to turn on the key and wait to figure what lights meant what button would allow fresh air to enter. The vent operated instantly, just a push or pull on the handle under the dashboard. (I’m not even sure if direct outside air is available on today’s automobiles.)

  3. Boy, I can’t believe how tight these cars are parked to each other! What a battle it would be to get tucked into a parking spot. Is that a Cord parked on the inside of the double parked car?

  4. Zinke’s appears to have an animated neon sign where the hammer looks like its hitting the shoe.
    Animated neon signs have been almost totally outlawed in many places because they are considered eyesores.
    If you still see one today its because it was most likely there before the ordinance was passed.

  5. In the second image, the light-colored sedan headed away in the middle of the street was possibly a ’37 Graham Crusader Six. Parked at the curb to the right is a 1940 Cadillac Series 62 Torpedo C-Body sedan. To the left, behind the ’30 Ford Model A cabriolet is a ’39 Studebaker Champion, next a two-tone ’40 Chevrolet, then a ’38 Oldsmobile.

  6. In the last pic on the far side of the street
    -middle of the block occupying two or three parking spaces- anybody have any idea what that is?

    A bus stop, news stand, circus trailer?

  7. The street itself is a piece of beauty. The condition is magnificent. I guess the weather in Ft. Worth helps keep it that way.
    I wonder if it got paved over in asphalt. Hope not!

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