T-Head

Period Photo Thread

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You guys and girls posting all these older, black & white

photos -- you just don't know what a pleasure it is

for the rest of us to see them. This has to be one of the

greatest threads ever on this forum. Thank you for

sharing all of your pictures.

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I found some old family photos with cars. It seems my grandmother would pretend thar she could drive...but never learned how!Thats my aunt dancing on the bumper.

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Let's start the morning with the tow to beat all tow tucks back in that time...... none other than Big Bertha. Is this a custom built truck? Or can you identify the brand? Really study it...... This is quite a truck. Photo from 1940

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The Oldsmobile Limited Roadsters are coming out of the woodwork. I found this one in a park like setting and I think it originated with Olds as the photo is marked by them under the running board. Photo dated April 12, 1910 which would lead me to believe it was not taken in Michigan as I do not think the foliage would be developed so much by that date so far north.

Compare with post # 571 a few days ago.

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Edited by T-Head (see edit history)

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Sorry, no Olds Ltd in this group, but there sure are what appear to be some fine automobiles. This is the garage of the provincial governor or nawab of Rampur, in India. I'd say he had a nice fleet. Can anyone shed light on what these are? I hope every once in a while we can sneak a few foreign photos in, without T-Head's coppers coming after us.

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T, your post of "Big Bertha" inspired me to dig into my wrecker files. The only two pre-war period pix I have are these.........

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1941 Dodge

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Australian 1938 Dodge

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I believe the second car back in the Indian picture is a Lanchester.

Between the weight of the equipment on that big tow truck, and the weight of the truck it's hauling, its rear springs are fully compressed and its front wheels are almost off the ground. That must have been some load!

This is a marvelous thread.

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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I believe the second car back in the Indian picture is a Lanchester.

Between the weight of the equipment on that big tow truck, and the weight of the truck it's hauling, its rear springs are fully compressed and its front wheels are almost off the ground. That must have been some load!

This is a marvelous thread.

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

You are right and just behind it is a Silver Ghost Rolls. T-H

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No time for a sit down lunch today so I think we will stop into Meads and buy some fruit.

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Way before there was road rage, these were concocted and for a much different reason. Apparently, the Cadillac was outfitted for the Guatemalan army. Interestingly, there appears to be a NY dealer or manufacturer plate on it. And the Franklin was, if you can decipher the text at the top, used for controlling strikes perhaps (?). For you restorers bent on 100% authenticity, "please don't try this at home!"

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Let's start the morning with the tow to beat all tow tucks back in that time...... none other than Big Bertha. Is this a custom built truck? Or can you identify the brand? Really study it...... This is quite a truck. Photo from 1940

Sheesh. "Garbage wagon" is more like it, with all those lights and everything glommed on there ! :P

Is that a DELCO lighting plant on the splash apron in front of the driver's door ?

The 1940's version of "Wrecked". :D

Okay, to get serious for a minute.... I think the tow-wagon is built on a GMC cab & chassis. ( The Budd wheels definitely look like those used by GMC in the 1930's and early '40s).

The grille-guard is home-made, the headlights look like they were cabbaged off a La France fire-engine.

I think it is a custom creation, perhaps built from several wreckers / car- carriers.

Surprised they didn't go with a tandem axle in the back for more load capacity.

I'll bet it took a real "gorilla" to drive this rig !

On the hook is a 1934-'37 International C-series truck, probably a C-35.

Way in the background is a '33 Plymouth.

To the right of Big Bertha, the other wrecker appears to be equipped with a Manley Wrecking Crane (hand-cranked), made in York, PA. Used to have one myself.

Looks like this caravan is parked at home-base, waiting for orders.

Neat photo !

Up this way (Scranton, PA), on route US 6, in Dickson City, there is Johnson's Towing, who have (had) a HUGE Autocar wrecker, with TWO steering axles up front (tandem, just like rear axles).

They also have a wrecker built on a ex GI 6x6.

Edited by DeSoto Frank (see edit history)

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Way before there was road rage, these were concocted and for a much different reason. Apparently, the Cadillac was outfitted for the Guatemalan army. Interestingly, there appears to be a NY dealer or manufacturer plate on it. And the Franklin was, if you can decipher the text at the top, used for controlling strikes perhaps (?). For you restorers bent on 100% authenticity, "please don't try this at home!"

Any idea where the photo of the Caddy was taken ?

( It's wearing chains, and looks to be in snow.... anybody recognize that capitol building ?)

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I wrote about that Cadillac on post #58 of the original Period Photo Thread. Here's the article from the New York Times describing the car:

"AUTOMATIC GUNS ON MOTORCARS"

"Value of Autos in War Shown in Test of Cadillac Machines for Guatemala"

"Judged by an interesting experiment yesterday, the automobile is destined to play an important part in the petty wars of South America. At the request of the President of the Guatemala Republic, that country's Consul General at New York, together with representatives of Colt's small arms factory, inspected the new Cadillac gun cars in a test of the Colt auto gun and field wireless, with which these cars are equipped."

"The tests were made at the Government proving grounds at Eagle Rock, N.J., and proved successful in every particular. The automatic gun discharged bullets at the speed of 450 a minute, while mounted on the rear of the car, with very little vibration, while the field wireless equipment was tested between two stations erected near two telescope poles, each forty-five feet in height. This was worked for some time without interruption."

"The experiment was the outcome of an order from the Republic of Guatemala that followed the tour of the gun cars of the Northwest Military Academy last Fall. While the cars were in New York, they attracted the attention of the Guatemalan Consul General, and an order for two was placed with the Cadillac Company. With the completion of the machines, Supt. of Service William McIlrid and Sales Manager J.H. Johnson of the Cadillac Motor Company invited the Guatemalan officials and Colt representatives to inspect the workings of the gun and wireless outfit. These, together with several other interested persons, left Columbus Circle at noon yesterday, and were driven in the two cars to Eagle Rock, where the testing was held."

"The cars are somewhat on the order of the runabout, with two seats on the front for the drivers and two seats in the rear. The latter are reached by a door opening in the back of the car, as in an opera 'bus. The guns were mounted on structures resembling gun carriages. It was from these that the shots were fired at the rate of 450 a minute. The target was placed at a considerable distance from the cars, but the average number of hits was considered unusually good."

"In a box under the seat an entire wireless outfit is held, ready for use. After the successful gun experiments, the boxes were opened and the wireless equipment erected. The telescope poles were placed several hundred feet apart, but the connection was speedily effected and the two operators "talked" over wireless current for some time."

"On the return journey to the city a searchlight, which is carried on each gun car, was used, and threw a brilliant flash about 100 yards. This is intended for use in connection with the gun car."

"The experiment was a novel and interesting one, and met all the requirements of the contract. The gun cars will be shipped to Guatemala some time this week."

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This photo is of a Piedmont, produced by the Piedmont Motor Car Co. between 1917 and 1922.

An interesting note, in the background is the Smith Mountain Gorge where AEP completed the hydro-electric dam in 1962 creating what is now Smith Mountain Lake in Central Va.

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You could correct about the Model T. The photograph is hard to see and I'm going by the inscription on the back of the photo identifying the brothers and the car

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