Automobile Industry Photograph Collection, 1931–1944

Henry Ford presents new V-8, ca. 1936.

Mss: 534 1931–1944 A939
25 boxes, approx. 2,000 photographs
Collection Guide

In the 1930s, Charles H. Taylor, a founding member of the Business Historical Society and treasurer of the Boston Globe, and J. T. Sullivan, automotive editor and writer for the Boston Globe, solicited more than 2,000 photographs from automobile manufacturers. Companies provided images of plants, manufacturing activities, assembly lines, World War II production of military vehicles and equipment, factory employees, industrial researchers, and designers. Publicity stunts and events featured include cross-country races, goodwill tours, and celebrity appearances. The holdings represent intriguing examples of advertising photography with male and female models demonstrating special features of the models, and close-up views providing details of front grilles, trunks, interiors, and engines. The collection also contains printed materials from auto show press kits.

Pontiac radiator shells, ca. 1937.

U.S. companies represented include Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation, and General Motors Corporation and their respective divisions, as well as a number of independent manufacturers such as Hudson Motor Car Company, Packard Motor Car Company, Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, and Studebaker.