CTCV

Johnnie's Garage Tow Truck ???

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I bought this old tow truck and would like to know if anyone can provide history of Johnnie's Garage. It is a 1932 Buick 97. I believe it was in NEPA for the majority of its life but can't say for sure.

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That is so great to see!  I have an old Manley garage equipment book and will check to see if that company was used in their advertising.  Manley was from York PA.  Here is one of the pics from the catalog.

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5 hours ago, CTCV said:

I bought this old tow truck and would like to know if anyone can provide history of Johnnie's Garage. It is a 1932 Buick 97. I believe it was in NEPA for the majority of its life but can't say for sure.

 

That's a great looking truck.  If you'd post the general location where you found it, that would give a useful clue to someone who might have the information you requested.

 

Do you plan to restore it?

 

Cheers,

Grog

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No luck finding Johnnie’s Garage, but I did find that the tow truck in the picture I posted was from Denver Colorado.  Also, the catalog is from the mid 1920s.

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42 minutes ago, capngrog said:

 

That's a great looking truck.  If you'd post the general location where you found it, that would give a useful clue to someone who might have the information you requested.

 

Do you plan to restore it?

 

Cheers,

Grog

Sorry NEPA is north eastern Pennsylvania.  Luzerne County. 

And we are in the process of restoring. 

Edited by CTCV
add more info (see edit history)

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6 minutes ago, TerryB said:

No luck finding Johnnie’s Garage, but I did find that the tow truck in the picture I posted was from Denver Colorado.  Also, the catalog is from the mid 1920s.

Thanks for checking Terry. It is so great that people take time out of their day to help others through these forums. 

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There are a few items I could use for this project. I need the headlights and supports if anyone has a pair. I'll post a few images from time to time.

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You might find that Johnnie's Garage by searching newspaper archives because they place many classified ads, and you have the name and phone number (9055) and the year could be 1935+/- and the area NE Pennsylvania.

 

I found a different Towing company with phone 9055 in Shamokin, Pa in a 1934 newspaper. Not the right one, but with more effort and luck it may turn up.

 

Shamokin News-Dispatch from Shamokin, Pennsylvania · Page 9

 

They scan all the text so it can be searched.

 

 

 

AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE TOWING West End Garage Phone 1015. Day and night service. TOWING City Garage. Phone 9055. Day and night service. WEST END GARAGE Official Inspection' station. Reflectors re-nickled. IF YOUR RADIATOR STEAMS let us correct, your trouble in a short while. Hand Motor Company, 627 North Third street. SINCLAIR TRANSMISSION AND DIFFERENTIAL GREASE 3 lbs 25c, in gun ready for use. 

 

THE ARISTOCRAT Along the Trevor. jn Road Music by the Aristocrat Orchestra George Magasky, Prop. Forrest Theatre TREVORTON, PA. Tonight (Sat., Feb. 3) at 7 & 9 P. M. Marie Dressier and Wallace Beery "TUGBOAT ANNIE" What picture! Laughs, tears and cheers. Don't miss this picture. Added: Crooks Tour & Novelties This theatre is under new management. Also new sound equipment has been in-tailed. Come In and see us some time. ADMISSION Children 10c AdulU 25c PARIS CONFECTIONERY 322 N. Shamokin St. . Presenting OUR FLOOR SHOW and First-Class ORCHESTRA Come Early or Call for Reservations PHONE 926 Most Famous Soda Fountain in Shamokin For Service & Quality Bring Entire Family and Enjoy Yourself at the PARIS BEER on Tap itlaiestic GOOD to the LAST THRILL From the firsr shock to the last flashing action nd romanc! ZflNE GREY'S A Paramount Picfurt wtti RANDOLPH SC0T1 ESTHER RALSTON BUSTER CRABBE JACK U RUE NOANKIRI ON ICE" News Carson" MON. - TUES. - WED. A drama of the heorf fhaf'j will grip every person who has wondered whether ove if just a bog of frickf fo pay on men 7&i : wusfftth "a I k the exchanging of wives freely It is this extraordinary "matrimonial code" which provides the story's powerful theme. Mala, the principal character of "Eskimo," has two wives and while he does, not mind lending his wife to his brother Eskimos, he deeply resents the lecherous desires of a w'nite tagonism which ultimately culminates in a murder. Among breath-taking spectacles obtained by the expedition are scenes of caribou r.irds on stampede; walrus hunts with natives risking their lives in small boats; whaling expeditions; the terrific roaring and crashing of millions of tons of ice, and other thrills of the far north. A. F. Schiffely rode a horse from Buenos Aires to Washington, D. C; tne trip required two ana one-nan years and ended in 1932 FREE ROAST TURKEY TONIGHT at Novack's Cafe 615 N. Shamokin St

 

HELP WANTED FEMALE EARN EXTRA MONEY copying names, addresses for mail order firms. Home spare time, experience unnecessary. Write for information. Circle Advertising, 401 Broadway, New York. HELP WANTED MALE WEAVERS Experienced on wide gemhead looms. Steady work. Apply Jaunty Silk Company, Inc., 300 Brook street, Scranton, Pa. SALESMAN Experienced. Car preferred. Acquainted with grocery stores. Permanent. Apply 1:00 p. m.- to 3:00 p. m., Sunday. Mr. Abrams, Hotel Penn-Lee. SALESMAN To take orders and deliver goods for Grand Union Tea Co. in Shamokin, Mt. Carmel and surrounding territory. Special offer to get a salesman started at ' once. Address Grand Union Tea Co., Danville, Penna. WANTED TO BUY PIGEONS Best price paid. Jacob Wolf. 948 West Willow street. WANTED ROOMERS AND BOARDERS. E. Sunbury street. 620 PUPILS on banjo, mandolin and guitar. Charles H. Eyster, 32 South Rock street. Phone 115-R. MIDDLE AGED WOMAN WANTS HOUSEWORK Phone 461 -R or write Box 496, News-Dispatch. OLD MATTRESS and living room suites to do over. Exclusive Bedding Shop, 510 North Shamokin street. Telephone 558. TWO GENTLEMEN To occupy one large room. Independence street. Two beds. No. 24 McWilliams Apts. 

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I think this may be it:

 

It would be near Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Would that make sense? Anyway, this advertisement was in the December 18, 1941 The Plain Speaker from Hazleton, Pennsylvania · 26

 

http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/268672376/

 

 

Official Inspection Station No. 7386. STEELE'S SUPER SERVICE 611 W. Broad St. , Phone 9124. Official Inspection Station No, 961. JOHNNIE'S GARAGE 1st & Arthur Sts, Phone 9055. Official Inspection Station No. 1265 WASH SALES AMU SEKVICE W. Walnut Al Reedy. Phone 1876. Official Inspection Station No. 6169 RALPH'S GARAGE 414 E. C

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Here's another advertisement from 1941:

 

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/360003418/

 

 Clyde's Garage, Reo Sales & Service, 72 North Lee Court Automobile Repairing 110 MOTOR OVERHAUL SPECIAL Including hew Pedrick rings; valves and Seats refaced, rods aligned, bearings adjusted, new gaskets, and motor oil. Complete $28.00. ENGARD BROS., Phone 3758 Cor. Cedar and Green Streets , 111 1 r-. U 0 1 f rr 1 I r If ir n Freeland Official Inspection Station No. 1151. DANKO'S GARAGE 1221 South St., Freeland. Phone 2. Official Inspection Station No. 9396 WILSON'S GARAGE J 419 Johnson St., Freeland.. Ph. 335-M. Official Inspection Station No. 1353. MAURY'S T'RE & BATTERY 726 Centre St., Freeland. Ph. 343. Official Inspection Station No. 6534 JOSEPH KOPSKI GARAGE Rear 444 Centre, Freeland. Ph. 251-J McAdoo Official Inspection Station No. 6136. McADOO GARAGE E. Sherman S , McAdoo. Ph. 4622. Official Inspection Station No. 8887 PETER J. PENSOCK 201 N. Tamaqua, McAdoo. Ph. 4252. Conyngham Off. Inspection Station No. 1370-A. WENNER'S GARAGE Conyngham. Pa. Phone 12-R-9 1 kph. T5 SiiB AUTOMOBILES Automobile Repairing 110 FRANCY'S GARAGE, PHONE 4567. Motorists, before having any Fender, Body Work, Painting or Repairs done on your car, get an estimate at Francy's. Factory specifications on all makes of cars and trucks. Automobile Washing 111 CAR WASH Atlantic ultra car wash 75c. . Engard Bros., Laurel and Green streets. . Your most thrilling emotional experience in the theatre . . . brought to you by three great stars . . . the director of "Gone With The Wind"! TUNE-FILLED SOCKEROO! Hazleton Official Inspection Station No. 961. JOHNNIE'S GARAGE 1st & Arthur Sts. Phone 9055. Official Inspection Station No. 1265. NASH SALES AND SERVICE W. Walnut. Al Reedy. Phone 1876. Official Inspection Station No. 5169. RALPH'S GARAGE 414 E. Chapel Si,. Phone 3074. 

Arthur and 1st St Hazelton PA updated.JPG

 

That's an old building, with cracks in the brick walls due to settling. It now has an address, 445 East 1st Street, Hazleton PA. It's at 1st & Arthur. You can tour the area using Google Maps street view. I am cruising the street from my home in California.

 

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Edited by mike6024
add pics (see edit history)
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48 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

I think this may be it:

 

It would be near Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Would that make sense? Anyway, this advertisement was in the December 18, 1941 The Plain Speaker from Hazleton, Pennsylvania · 26

 

http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/268672376/

 

 

Official Inspection Station No. 7386. STEELE'S SUPER SERVICE 611 W. Broad St. , Phone 9124. Official Inspection Station No, 961. JOHNNIE'S GARAGE 1st & Arthur Sts, Phone 9055. Official Inspection Station No. 1265 WASH SALES AMU SEKVICE W. Walnut Al Reedy. Phone 1876. Official Inspection Station No. 6169 RALPH'S GARAGE 414 E. C

I think this is it!!!! That is fantastic! I belive the guy I bought it from mentioned the area he towed it from and it is very close to Hazleton. Mike you are amazing.  Now I can search for images from that area.

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It sounds like you found it! But I will still mention. Remember, direct dialing on phones in most of the USA only worked locally at that time. Anything outside a local town/exchange had to go through a long distance operator. This did not change for most of this nation (or anywhere in the world) until well after WWII. Even nearly into the 1970s, many areas had to use operators for long distance calls. This is why phone numbers had two to four digits in those days. They did not yet include exchange prefixes, let alone area codes. When I was little (1950s) , people still gave phone numbers as Andrews 4, 1234. Or they would state it as AN4-1234. The "AN" was later changed to its numerical equivalent as 264-1234. Originally, most local exchanges were named after one of the first (or more prominent) families in an area to have a phone. In San Jose CA, the "Andrews" exchange was named for the Andrews family, way back before I was born. When I was little, that was how we were taught to remember our phone number, as "Andrews4-xxxx.

The reason I mention this. Because nearly all phone numbers in those days were only local, it is quite likely that you may find different people or businesses with the same number. It would be possible for them to only be a few miles apart, and still have the same number. Advertising and local familiarity usually gave clues to where one needed to call. If one needed to call something other than their own local exchange, they would simply dial "O" and ask the operator to connect them either to the correct area or exchange, or likely even connect directly to the desired number. 

That was just how it was. People were used to it. In small towns, they often knew the operator's name. In large areas, they were used to talking to anyone in a room full of operators and knew the procedure to get the connection they desired.

 

Now you can restore that wonderful piece of history, and put its original phone number on it. You now know how to explain that short number to people that weren't connected to communication technologies way back in its early days.

Edited by wayne sheldon
Typo in one of my phony phone numbers :( (see edit history)

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It is just so interesting to read how all of this "history puzzle" is working out, and thankfully to a definite answer and conclusion. What a great story to display with the finished restoration!

Researchers, authors, and historian types ( yes I fit all of those) just can be so pleased to see this develop. This goes for vehicle history as well as local history ( I am the village historian for the area where I live and wrote a book for Arcadia on the area - every little bit of information helps, believe me!) How nice to share what all of you know - there are types out there that can solve a problem/question /answer with a fact , but choose not to because they feel superior as being the only ones to have that knowledge. I do not get along well at all nor have any respect for those people to put it mildly and politely!  SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE . you may think it insignificant but one small fact can put the whole story in place. Thanks so much to all who contribute to this site , time marches on and so does the heritage and history of these fine old vehicles.

WG

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My grandparents lived about 15 miles out of Gisborne. They were on a party line, sharing the line with a number of others on their short road. Each had their own "ring tone" on the bells, which was a letter in Morse code. They could all listen to any conversation any of them had. I was small at the time, but I think they lifted the hand piece, turned the handle and when the operator answered, asked to be put through to the number.

 

Often, when picking up the hand piece to make a call, they would say "are you there?" to see if the line was busy. In the early '90s I met an old chap in Wellington who answered his phone with "are you there?" which seemed rather odd at the time.

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32 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

My grandparents lived about 15 miles out of Gisborne. They were on a party line, sharing the line with a number of others on their short road. Each had their own "ring tone" on the bells, which was a letter in Morse code. They could all listen to any conversation any of them had. I was small at the time, but I think they lifted the hand piece, turned the handle and when the operator answered, asked to be put through to the number.

 

Often, when picking up the hand piece to make a call, they would say "are you there?" to see if the line was busy. In the early '90s I met an old chap in Wellington who answered his phone with "are you there?" which seemed rather odd at the time.

 

The other version was 'are you on the line?' A kids prank was to ring someone up and say 'are you on the line?' and when they said yes, the answer to give was - 'well you had better get off there is a train coming'. Perhaps a Kiwi thing only?

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2 minutes ago, nzcarnerd said:

Perhaps a Kiwi thing only?

My wife says it is not only a Kiwi thing, just a child thing. LoL!

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10 hours ago, Walt G said:

It is just so interesting to read how all of this "history puzzle" is working out, and thankfully to a definite answer and conclusion. What a great story to display with the finished restoration!

Researchers, authors, and historian types ( yes I fit all of those) just can be so pleased to see this develop. This goes for vehicle history as well as local history ( I am the village historian for the area where I live and wrote a book for Arcadia on the area - every little bit of information helps, believe me!) How nice to share what all of you know - there are types out there that can solve a problem/question /answer with a fact , but choose not to because they feel superior as being the only ones to have that knowledge. I do not get along well at all nor have any respect for those people to put it mildly and politely!  SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE . you may think it insignificant but one small fact can put the whole story in place. Thanks so much to all who contribute to this site , time marches on and so does the heritage and history of these fine old vehicles.

WG

Amen to that. I sent an email to the Hazleton Historical Society and will visit there next week . I will post any new info. Thanks to everyone for your input.

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CTCV  You will have a long road a head of you to bring that great machine back to its former self, there will be times when you will say to yourself "what am I doing ?' , and " why am I spending so much time, effort and $" when you get to that point come back here and reread this whole post. Know we are with you in spirit for the whole journey and will be all smiles when we see your neat machine in person. There are some of us here who have done frame up restorations, hours spent replacing wood structural framework, etc. it is all worth it.

WG

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I have this 30-32 era Buick Headlight Bar in excellent condition, found it in a barn's rafters 2 years ago where I understand it sat for 60+ years. Have sandblasted it and primed and painted it, ready to go. Measures 26" between headlight mounts, and 38.75"m overall. Includes factory license bracket. Sorry no lights, but there are several makes that could be fitted to it. If your interested, asking $75+shipping. Cheers 

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Great project CTCV! And I agree, nice detective work Mike!

Another avenue I have had success with in the past is vintage phone directories. The Hazelton Historical Society will almost certainly have some from the era.

Greg

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9 hours ago, Gunsmoke said:

I have this 30-32 era Buick Headlight Bar in excellent condition, found it in a barn's rafters 2 years ago where I understand it sat for 60+ years. Have sandblasted it and primed and painted it, ready to go. Measures 26" between headlight mounts, and 38.75"m overall. Includes factory license bracket. Sorry no lights, but there are several makes that could be fitted to it. If your interested, asking $75+shipping. Cheers 

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Thanks Gunsmoke ....I will take some measurements. I belive this Buick did not have that type but I'll double check.

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The 1932 Buick's had vertical stanchions/posts under each light instead of a cross bar, and a thin cross rod between the lights. So your truck's body may be '31 or earlier. The bolt mounting area for a crossbar on the fenders of your "truck" are patterned on earlier Buick's, i.e. 30/31, which used a solid headlight cross bar like the one I have, note the fore/aft bolt pattern, a Buick trade mark. My bar may be '30, some '31 I see have a curved bar? They also used a thin cross rod between headlights to help prevent vibration, and to hold the Buick Medallion. It is possible your truck is a mishmash of different years, not an uncommon occurence for Garages putting a tow truck together. Anyway, let me know.

 

Edit_ Since first posting this, I did some checking and it does appear the '32 headlight posts used a 2 point attachment, utilizing the 2 bolt top mount and the lower 1 bolt mount. I'm betting those types of stanchions will be impossible to find! Mine is for 31/30.

Edited by Gunsmoke (see edit history)

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