Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mystery Photo: Hastings Policemen?

We have all sorts of objects in the archive, and all sorts of mysteries. Here is an advertisement for Champion spark plugs from our documents collection. It appeared on page 15 of the Saturday Evening Post for January 18, 1958. The caption below the photograph reads: "Police cars have to start in a flash -- and go like the wind. Nearly twice as many use Champions as any other plug! Above: Champion-equipped police cars in Hastings on Hudson, N. Y."

So are these really Hastings policemen? Or are they actors? Was the photograph taken in Hastings, or was it just a stock photograph that the advertising agency pulled out of the files? What do you think? Do you recognize either of the policemen? Let us know!

If you don’t know, but are curious about the answers, come back to the blog and check this post. We’ll attach comments with any information we receive.

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  1. Dear readers,

    These are not Hastings Police officers, nor was the photo taken in Hastings. First of all, the only non-village boulevards with this topography would have been Fsrragut heading from the High School towards Ravensdale Road, but there were no tall street lights there in 1958. The only other section of similar road would have been Broadway facing North from Edgars Lane, and again no large light posts.

    But the real proof is in the license plate. Back then all local plates had a "WE" in the alpha numeric configuration to designate a Westchester County plate - even for police cars. This plate was colored black with yellow lettering, so the plate could have had these colors. In 1960? it changed to a yellow plate with black lettering. Then in '64 it went to orange and blue to commemorate the NY Worlds Fair.

    As for the police officers in the car, they are posing as told for the photographer. Even if they were locals the youngest would have been John Ooman and he isn't in this photo. Otherwise, Champion makes a great sparkplug.

    Bob Russell

  2. Thanks, as always, Bob! Great to have a definitive answer.