Looking through antique photos on ebay, looking for good photos of old cars I began to notice that I was seeing a particular car show up in LOTS of old photos...

So I found this very interesting. This is not different examples of a particular model, it is THE same car, reappearing over and over again. From what I can figure out from the details given in the different listings, this car was used as a prop for traveling photo studio that moved from town to town setting up at town fairs, carnivals, etc. People would go have their photo taken in the car, in front of a backdrop that seems to have been altered to fit whatever locale the photographer was operating in. The photographer would then print the resulting photo on a postcard. The car itself is much older than the photographs, but the photographs themselves mostly seem to be from the 1910s to early 1920s, when sitting in a car would have still been a novelty for a lot of people.

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So I’ve got a pretty good eye for prewar cars, but this one took me a while to figure out. I’ll give a hint: the biggest clue is the very peculiar control layout on the steering column. Can you figure it out?

edited to add this photo:

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I’m pretty sure this is the same car, but it’s hard to say for certain since it is photographed from the other side and the characteristic backdrop is missing - possibly made before it was painted? At this point the car itself may have still been new enough to be a novelty on its own.

Edited for even more pics: