Then and now: Car turns turtle at Newbury and Berkeley

Old crash at Newbury and Berkeley in the Back Bay

The caption for the original Leslie Jones photo from Jan. 29, 1937 reads:

Auto driven by Richard Kent turns over at Newbury and Berkeley.

One of the things you notice as you browse the 900+ photos in the BPL's collection of Leslie Jones auto-accident photos is how many of them have these large crowds of people right on top of the wrecked cars. In this photo, take a look at the grinning guy in glasses on the extreme right. Jones took a photo of the car from the other side, and the guy followed the camera, and he's still grinning.

And one of the things I'm finding fascinating about the then and now photos is how many little things remain unchanged over the decades. Sure, you expect grand old historic buildings to go unchanged, but you just don't expect fire escapes, storm sewers, stair railings and, in this case, a fire-alarm box, to be the same ones that were there in the 1930s. It's hard to tell in the photo I used, but it's kind of cool that the same round alarm box somebody might have pulled in 1937 is still there (you can see it more clearly in the other Jones photo):

Alarm box in the Back Bay

Photo from the BPL Leslie Jones collection used under this Creative Commons license.



Free tagging: 


Next should be a composite of

Next should be a composite of well dressed men and women walking down Boylston from days of yore with the modern schlubby pants, tshirts and flipflops of today


And for that matter

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Do one of a neighborhood that rapidly gentrified, for the reverse effect.

These then and now pics are

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These then and now pics are great! Note the reflection on the trunk of the overturned car... is that an old mailbox?

Looking at car wrecks...

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It's kind of interesting looking at that photostream. The car accidents of yore look pretty messy. I suspect we're seeing a lot of fatal accidents. The cars then look pretty fragile compared to todays' wrecks. I guess a lot of people hoped to get their pictures in the paper standing in front of them. Pretty weird.

A prototype Storrowing is here:



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That's great.


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Is that supposed to be a 1930s photo?
what about those other cars?

No, it's a more modern photo

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Taken a couple weeks ago. I'm layering elements of the older photos on new ones. One thing this particular photo taught me: Don't use the zoom on my point-and-shoot too much if I;m planning on blowing up part of the photo - things get kind of fuzzy.

Those round alarm boxes seem to survive everywhere....

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If you look at another of the photos from the BPL car carnage collection ( and then let Google street view take you to the corner of Rockville Park & Warren St. (,-71.082875,3a,75y,8.15h,72.21t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sHYbsLQqZ1JHwUUMa_eeCCQ!2e0) you'll see that the round alarm box is the ONLY element of the original photo that survives there. This whole collection is a treasure trove. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.