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Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

Can you date this photograph? [Orange]

Bustling Summer Street in Orange, NSW. There are quite a lot of clues in this image that might help to uncover when this photograph was taken.

Can you date this photograph?

Larger version on Flickr

We have many other undated photographs in Photo Investigator and on our Flickr account. If know the dates or any other interesting facts about these images please let us know.

  • Jenny Fawbert says:

    I’m suggesting between 1942 and 1949:
    • Vehicle parked to left of horse drawn cart has white lines on its mudguards = blackout markings – so WW2 or just after? Blackout measures were not required till after December 1941 in Sydney and many cars still had the white lined mudguards and running boards well into the 1950s+. I believe though that the white markings were less commonly used on country cars which may account for no other cars so marked.
    •The Hotel Canobolas was built 1939. Crucially for a latest possible date a 1949 NAA photo shows Hotel Canobolas without the neon sign
    •Another NAA photo dated 1949 shows a similar view Summer Street with less traffic and pedestrians but the same bus service
    •1930s cars almost outnumber 1920s cars in the photo almost 3 to 1
    •Of those 1930s cars in front of the Hotel Canobolas and those discernable further up Summer Street nearly all are mid to late 1930s:
    – most having all-steel bodies i.e. no fabric turrets, so post- 1935/36/37 depending on make.
    – 1936/37/38 style ‘teardrop’ mudguards, ‘suicide’ doors and front vent window [on some], headlights external to mudguards. By 1941-46 headlights were set into the guards for the US styled cars.
    As I’ve said on other Moments in Time posts it could be a street of not very new cars, so maybe early post-war, and if it’s during the WW2 then there just were no new cars, but considering there was petrol rationing maybe that’s a lot of passenger cars out and about. Whatever, it’s a busy day in Orange.

    October 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm
  • Anthea Brown says:

    Jenny, your car knowledge always impresses! That’s interesting to know about the white lined mudguards before the introduction of the blackout measures.
    1942-1949 is a very sound date range according to your expertise above. This photo has been trickier than we thought!

    November 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm