Thats a seven-foot whip antenna on top.
  • Washington State Archives, used with permission
  • That's a seven-foot "whip antenna" on top. (Click to enlarge.)

The recent discovery of a rusted-out Washington State Patrol cruiser from 1949 caused the state archives to go digging. They came up with these images from a time when a 100-horsepower Ford was the wheels of the law and suspects allegedly rode in style. As Jim Ritter, President of the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, told Q13:

There was no cage at all in these cars. If they were going to transport a prisoner back in those days, they may just put the person in the front seat next to them with no handcuffs and transport them to the nearest detachment office. Law enforcement was very casual back then.

Perhaps. But they were not casual when it came to clothing choices:

Bowties and pocket squares! (Click to enlarge.)
  • Washington State Archives, used with permission
  • Pocket squares! Bow ties! Which they still wear! (Click to enlarge.)