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January 2, 2024

Auto Transport Passing Through Eufaula, Oklahoma, February 1940

Here’s a load of 1940 Pontiacs being hauled by a 1939 GMC in February 1940. They’re passing a parked 1938 Ford Standard. Immediately behind them is a 1940 Dodge. The car behind the Dodge is a 1938 Ford Deluxe or a 1939 Ford Standard. Amid the traffic, the Coca-Cola sign and the Pontiacs there magically appears a 7-Up delivery truck. The photo was taken in Eufaula, Oklahoma by photographer Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration.

Russell Lee’s photographs from that day did include shots of a short parade, in which a marching band was followed by a few gentlemen giving rides to others in wheelbarrows. The notes from the photos in the Library of Congress archives gave no clues of the occasion, but the local newspaper did. According to the Feb. 15, 1940 Indian Journal (the official publication of the City of Eufaula, Oklahoma), the local Jaycees were planning a “Street Comedy Act,” including a marching band, as the culmination of competition between two teams to increase the chapter’s membership. The “comedy act” would involve having the losing team’s members giving wheelbarrow rides to the winning team’s members.


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