Mystery Image #17

The mystery of this image is not what is it or who is it, but when is it?    The photograph pictures a parking lot east of Blaw-Knox and north of the academic campus.  The location looks more like a military base than a college campus!  The paved area is only half the size of what is now referred to as the North Lot — that’s where I park every working day.

My best guess at dating this photo is the early 1950s.  The Blaw-Knox buildings were moved to RPI in 1949.  Are there any car enthusiasts who can identify the cars in this photo and provide a date range?

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6 Responses to Mystery Image #17

  1. Tina says:

    Hmmm, that was interesting. Looks like somethings will always remain mystery.

    I myself have been trying to solve the mystery of this legend for a while now. Could not understand much though.

    Let me know in case you get to understand the mystery of the Old Hound and the Legend.

    By the way, good writing style. I’d love to read more on similar topics

  2. Bill W. says:


    I am a car enthusiast, and although I cannot identify any one particular car in this photo, I will say that I don’t see any that would be of a 1950’s vintage. It appears that they are all ’30’s and ’40’s, some in the very late ’40’s.

    Bear in mind that new cars weren’t as prevelant right after WW II, and were hard to obtain and afford as post war production was ramping up. Consequently people were still making due with older vehicles; so even though any ’50’s vintage cars are not readily apparent, the photo could still have been taken in the very early 1950’s.

  3. G. Marie Agnew-Marcelli says:

    That’s MY campus! I was Class of `48 and `52 for MS.

    It’s good to see the old Playhouse still standing and the post-Civil War buildings along 8th street.

    G. Marie, RPI `48

  4. G. Marie Agnew-Marcelli says:

    Addendum !

    The parking lot is circa 1947-52 but your mystery photo is considerably earlier. Probably 19th century before the great fire as there seems to be no evidence of the Ricketts campus buildings.

  5. Yes, if the buildings arrived there during 1949, that’s the earliest time, so the question is what’s the latest it might be.

    1950 started bringing in more tail fins and enclosed rear wheels, and I don’t see any of that, and as postwar production was up by 1949, I’d expect to see something like that here.

    The third car from the front is a 1941 Plymouth, and the cars with the external headlights are from the 1930s.

    I don’t see any evidence that this photo was taken after 1949.

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