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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Diamond T: 1940

Diamond T: 1940

June 1940. Washington, D.C. "At a truck service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue)." Let's hope this rig was red. Another truck stop shot by serial shooter Jack Delano. 35mm nitrate negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Small but heavy

Eighteen-seven is very heavy even for a three-axle day cab tractor today. This one is a two-axle. His trailer is 40 feet max, compared with 53 today. Now 80000 lbs. gross is standard, while that truck probably never even pulled 50000.
Without power steering trucks today would not be drivable,at least in metro areas. Where I've got to hand it to this guy is running the Appalachians with (almost certainly) a gas engine, hydraulic brakes (with air for the trailer only) and no Jake brake. Go down some of those passes in too high a gear with that rig and you might as well kiss it goodbye.
By the way, trailer dollies, like transmissions, are pretty much all still manual.

Trucks of Yesteryear

Motorhead56 is correct. No power steering, no AC,and a hand- cranked dolly (the landing gear at the front of the trailer when detached from the tractor). My father was a truck driver from 1950-80 and told me of all the luxuries that these rigs lacked. Beautifully designed tractor though!

Year of Truck

Searching the Internet I believe this is a 1938 model. That's the closest I can find.

Anyone for shrimp?

Elzie J Hartley was born in St Augustine, Fla in 1902, he was married to Lillie (nee Skinner)b 1905 on Dec 16th 1919 , they appear to have had 4 Children Edna b 1922, Jaqueline b 1924, Helen b 1926 and Jane b 1932 who died at 6 months old.
In 1940 our Elzie was according to the census the manager of a shrimp trucking firm in Patterson, La
In 1945 the Hartley's were back in St Augustine living at 21 Masters Road where he was a sea food dealer
Elzie died in 1949, Lillie i believe died in 2001.
Was it normal to be married at 14 in Florida?

Hercules engines in Diamond T trucks

Go here for some photos and comments about the Diamond T series of vehicles in the 1940s

Riding on 22s? or 24s?

The wheel cover says a lot. For a truck to be fitted with fancy wheels back then tells of the Diamond Truck Co. or perhaps the trucking company, E.J. Hartley itself.

Sleeper Cab

It looks like there might be a mattress in the window behind the driver. Privacy and darkness seems to be a bit lacking though if it is a sleeper cab. There might be some curtains or screens to cover the windows that are not visible.

A Diamond T

was known in its day as the “Cadillac of trucks.” Although the specific model and year of this T remains unknown (as well as the designer), the very handsome features represent well the coming together of design and industry during the 30s. This truck, complete with hood ornament, is very pleasing to the eye. The basic design features remained on successive models through at least the late 40s.

A slight correction to a previous post: the vehicle was air conditioned. Notice the position of the driver’s side windshield.


... refers to the weight of the "container", not the load, or gross weight.

Only real men need apply

The design elements and overall styling of these 1930's and early 40's OTR trucks are amazing. Notice also the GVW rating uses the French wording "Tare". Louisiana=French!

Not an expert by any means but I would guess no power steering, brakes, air conditioning, maybe a heater? Only real men need apply for these jobs! Maybe some Shorpy prehistoric truck-o-phile can tell us what kind of powerplant and other interesting factoids about this beauty can be shared.

["Tare weight" is a standard expression in the shipping and freight industries, found on trucks, boxcars and postage scales. -Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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