The pictures were taken in and around Boston , Massachusetts by Leslie Jones, who was staff photographer at the Boston-Herald Traveler newspaper from 1917 to 1956. Mr. Jones captured everything that happened in the city for five decades and when he died in 1967, his family donated a vast collection of 34,000 prints to the Boston Public Library.
They included these fascinating photos of vintage car wrecks from the great motoring boom. Motor cars became affordable to the masses for the first time in the 1920s. By the end of the decade a Model T Ford cost $298, just a fraction of the $1,200 it cost in 1909.
The introduction of hire purchase also made it much easier for members of the public to buy cars, and by 1929, 20 per cent of Americans were on the road. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors were all competing for the boom in business and by the time the depression hit in 1929, Ford was producing more than one car every minute.
Technology meant these early cars were capable of achieving speeds of up to 50 miles per hour – but safety measures were nowhere near as advanced as they are today. Add in the fact drivers didn’t need to pass a test before they got behind the wheel, and it’s easy to see why accidents were frequent and often spectacular.
Thanks to Thor for the tip.