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Views of Narberth Past

Narberth & Montgomery Ave., about 1945

Image source: Collection of David M. Lockwood

modern view of the historical image seen from the same viewpoint
24 Nov 2017

This seems an unusual subject for a postcard, in that it depicts mostly pavement!

Let's try to date the image: the card is postmarked January 19, 1954, but the cars parallel parked on Montgomery appear to be models from the 1930s. The most modern one is an early 1940s Pontiac parked at the Texaco station. Other clues do not appreciably narrow the possible date range: 1937, 1948 and 1961 maps all show the gas stations and the houses and the Gulf and Texaco logos looked like this from the 1930s to the '60s. Finally, notice the old state highway marker on the far side of Montgomery Ave., which was designated PA Route 23 Alternate from 1937 to 1968.

So we have dated the photograph as roughly contemporary with the latest car, with thanks to our Facebook friends for their help with identifying the cars.

The houses on the far side of Montgomery first appear on the 1919 map. The one farthest to the left, identified by a former occupant, changed its address three times, starting as 43 Montgomery in 1919, but listed as #916 on the Narberth Roll of Honor in 1945. In 2017 the location is the parking lot for Main Line Audiology. The entire block between Narberth and Price was re-developed commercially starting in the early 1970s and all the houses had been demolished by 1985.

The postcard was "Pub. for Ruth Murray Miller & Hugh M. Miller, Jr., Phila., PA." Ruth Murray Miller published under her own imprint ("published by" rather than "for") from 1929-39, according to Metro Postcard.