Friday, September 10, 2010

Photo: Washing Cars In The Humber In 1922

Humber River, 1922

This 1922 photo of the Humber was apparently taken near where Dundas crosses the river. People, from what I can gather, have driven their cars—which would have just recently started to become really popular—into the river so they can wash them.  The other people are the swimmers who used to be able to enjoy the river before  folks started doing things like, um, driving their cars into it and it got too dirty to use.

Washing your car in a river seems like kind of a weird practice to me, but if I've learned anything in my research so far, it's that people used to do weird things. And neither Google nor the Toronto Archives website nor the book I first found the photo in seem to be able to give me much more information than that.  It's not the only photo of such a thing, though—I'll post another one below, from 1927—so I guess people were doing it for at least a few years. 

Not only does the whole thing make for some great images, but the photos also tipped me off to the existence of John Boyd, the fellow who took then. His real job was working for the Grand Trunk Railway, but he was also an amateur photographer who traveled around Ontario in the late-1800s and early-1900s. A lot of his shots are fantastic. I'll definitely be posting more of his Toronto stuff later, but you can see some of my favourite non-Toronto photos here (hunters with their kill in Haliburton in 1887) and here (a tug of war in 1910) and here (an engineer with his train in 1910).

Humber River, 1927

1 comment:

  1. The cars in the Humber River are not there to be washed. The majority of North American cars produced in the teens and twenties have wooden spoke wheels and in the hot summer they dry out, shrink and loosen up. This results in a bad situation. They are in the river to soak and tighten up.