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General Motors and Chrysler images on Flickr Commons

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As we watch with astonishment the "restructuring" of two American automotive titans, take a look back at the first four decades of their history, a time which saw multiple breaking waves of innovation in both engineering and design, and a steady absorption of manufacturing brands into the conglomerates we now see in crisis today.

Over the years, General Motors Corporation donated photographs and related materials as a public service to contemporary and future researchers, and to create an ongoing record of the company's output. The Library, in turn, mounted these photographs and texts in albums. General Motors was one of several transportation corporations that donated public relations materials to the Library department that is now the Science, Industry and Business Library. The General Motors holding is particularly comprehensive. See here the first Oldsmobile (1897)!

NYPL's latest contribution to the Flickr Commons is a group of 425 images from these albums, ported over from our Digital Gallery and organized into six Flickr sets and one overall collection: G.M. and Chrysler Cars and Trucks, 1897-1938. Peppered through some of them you'll find the ghostly portraits of engineers long gone, and delightful staged shots of motorists in action.

Spread the word and enjoy!

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