Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Family Cars of Yesteryear

The picture here is of my father and my grandfather taken shortly after my father got his first job and purchased his first automobile. The picture is dated October 1941. My father had driven my grandparents, who didn't own a car at the time, from the Mississippi Delta, where they were living then, to Holmes County and Attala County to visit relatives. I can tell from the picture that his father was very proud of him, and my father must have been proud to be able to show off his new wheels.

My father was about three when this picture was taken of him standing on the running board of a Model T owned by his maternal grandfather, J. J. Porter. He seems to be rather happy posing for the camera from this position, and it may have been from this experience and this moment that he developed his lifelong love for all things cars

To the left, you will see my paternal great-grandmother, Margaret Meriwether Porter, posing in front of a Model A, owned by her husband, J. J. Porter. The snapshot was taken around 1920, and the small child pictured smiling in the right rear is one of her four young sons.

Cars seem to appear often in old pictures, frequently serving as the backdrop for the entire photograph. They were something new and different, and our ancestors were quite proud of them. Not only did they represent a large investment of money at the time, but they represented a significant change in lifestyle, since ownership of a car must have been a "step up the social ladder."

Little did our ancestors know how this new form of transportation would go on to alter the world.

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