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West Hartford’s ‘Thursday Throwback’

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this ‘Thursday Throwback,’ courtesy of the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society.

By Ronni Newton

It’s Throwback Thursday (#tbt), and time to take a look back into West Hartford’s past to either stir up some memories, reflect on how much things have changed, or both. And if you have no idea, we love the photo captions, too!

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Last week’s image (at right and in larger size below) was obviously a West Hartford Police car, but other than that obvious fact we wondered if anyone had additional details.

All of our comments last week came from Facebook (with the exception of one that had to do with the Cow Parade), and Rick Liftig wins the prize for most creative comment: “Could that be the world’s first flux capacitor sitting on top of a 1956 DeLorean?”

Kate Rothwell though that the device on the roof was a siren, and Mary Beth Hamilton thought either a siren or a bullhorn.

John Hogan said: “Siren on the roof. Thinking a V8 Studebaker around 1950.”

And Don Kauke, you are probably right about this: “Not for transporting prisoners though.”

I’m not sure if David Traub’s guess was meant to be serious: “Is that a dummy cop/speed trap by Morley School in 1952 ish?” Although we don’t know where this photo was taken, unless the neighborhood was vastly different in the 1950s, I don’t think it was in the Morley School vicinity. Note the barbed wire on the fence!

Ron Sparkes guessed that this was a 1953 Ford, concurred by Nancy Law who said that her “resident expert” agreed.

Those of you who guessed a Ford were correct. There were not many difference between a 1952 and 1953 Ford Customline, so it could have been a model from either year. The device mounted on the roof appears to be a siren.

Members of the West Hartford Police Department still drive Fords, but today’s vehicles look very different!

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

This week’s throwback image (at right and in larger size below) is a building that many people will likely recognize. Many of our readers may have spent quite a few hours there!

Who knows what this is building is?

What was its original use?

What types of businesses have occupied this building?

What is in this space today?

Please share your memories below.

Thank you to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society for providing us with the images. They are always looking for new images to add to the collection. Visit their website at www.noahwebsterhouse.orgfor more information about membership and programs.

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Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

West Hartford Police Ford Customline, c. 1953. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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2 Comments

  • Looks very much like Whtiman Grammar School in the backyard of the old Hall High. I went there 2nd and 3rd grade in ’60’s

  • That is Talcott Junior High School which dominated Quaker Lane just before New Britain Avenue. After it closed, it became the headquarters of Coleco Industries, makers of the fabulously successful Cabbage Patch dolls and the not so successful Adam computer. Years after Coleco’s bankruptcy the property was sold and has been successfully developed as Quaker Green residential development.

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