Alan Mays

Alan Mays

Posted on 06/03/2014

Photo taken on June  3, 2014

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Trucks Aiding Marooned People at Main Street, Johnstown, Pa., March 18, 1936

Trucks Aiding Marooned People at Main Street, Johnstown, Pa., March 18, 1936
A disaster (fires, earthquakes, floods) photo for the Vintage Photos Theme Park.

Caption: "Trucks Aiding Marooned People at Main St., Johnstown Flood, 3-18-36."

The Johnstown Flood of 1889 decimated the city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killed over 2,200 people, and--like the Chicago Fire and the San Francisco Earthquake--was sensationalized and documented in numerous books, songs, photos, and other media (see the Johnstown Flood Museum's article on <a href=" Remembering the Johnstown Flood" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Remembering the Johnstown Flood for a brief discussion of the flood's impact on popular culture).

While the failure of a dam was the culprit in the 1889 flood, heavy rains caused more flooding in Johnstown in 1936 and 1977 (about two dozen died in 1936 and eighty-five in 1977).

This real photo postcard shows rescue efforts on March 18, 1936, the day after the flood began that year. Men and women stand awkwardly in the bed of a truck as it sloshes through the floodwaters on Main Street in Johnstown (mouse over the image above to see an enlarged view of the truck and its passengers).

Other details worth noting: the "Rothert's 'Furniture That Keeps Faith'" billboard down the street, the neon "Bus Depot" sign just behind and to the right of the rescue truck, and the "Arrow Furniture" van ("America's Finest Furniture") parked below the "Cambria Theatre" sign.

Smiley Derleth, corduroy cat, Angelica Paez, vfm4 have particularly liked this photo

interesting moment in history
4 years ago.
Lots of detail to see, and great that the event and date were documented on this kind of photo.
4 years ago.