Vintage Footage of Portland Traffic

March 17, 2008

I’ve seen bazillions of old photos of Portland, especially on my photo trips to the Oregon Historical Society’s research library. What I haven’t seen before is footage like this, traffic surveys from 1939 that show familiar intersections with vintage cars ‘n folks. I find it fascinating, even though nothing happens.

Via Cafe Unknown.

6th & Washington

6th & Alder, with scary bicylce moment

12th & Burnside (E), still a messed up intersection–in color! 1939!

6th & Morrison, also in color


  1. tODD says:

    Wow, downtown was hopping with pedestrians! Also: left turns were chock full of danger back then. Or at least appear so to this denizen of the 21st century.

  2. Don Park says:

    fascinating footage! the lane dividers are solid lines. the electric trolley car is a nice reminder of what was and whats possible. there is so much car traffic! i guess 1939 is too late to see people on horseback.

  3. sharon says:

    Holy crap that is SO AWESOME!

    I’m forwarding on to all of my Portland history geek friends (and there are a lot of us.)

    I once found a 1950′s 20 minute video from the city of Portland about local bomb shelters and what to do in case of an attack….

    Not nearly as cool as those vids tho! So oooold.

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