Monday, August 9, 2010

When cars were cars

It must have been fun to design cars back before you had to worry about stuff like cost and safety and part replacement:

Even the public service got cool wheels.

I got this photograph while visiting the Ontario Provincial Police museum in Orillia, which is quite an interesting holiday destination in itself. I hadn't thought about the kinds of things that you could put in a museum of police work but it turns out, there is enough to fill a pretty big room and really open your eyes.

Uniforms through the decades, for example. The men's uniforms were sort of what you'd expect, but the women's, which became necessary in the early 70s when women could finally join, started out much like stewardess outfits - right down to the hat. And instead of a belt with the tools of the trade, they got a purse.

Another thing to give pause: the work of sketch artists. There is a cool display of a sketch done with the help of a not terribly observant witness, and a sketch done with the help of a much clearer one, and the photograph of the perpetrator of the crime - and, whoa. The good sketch was a dead ringer for that photograph.

Speaking of photography, there is a fabulous collection of turn of the century mugshots I kind of which now I'd bought to look through at my leisure. The quality of the images is incredible and so are the stories they suggest.

Still, it's the car I really love. Day trips would be pretty awesome in a vehicle like that, don't you think? And boy would other drivers keep out of your way!

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