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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Telco Garage: 1919

Telco Garage: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. garage." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Bravo

One off the best pics on Shorpy to date. I'm there.

Belt Driven Machinery

I worked in a machine shop in the mid 80's. We several machines including a lathe with a 100 inch swing that had been belt driven originally. Who cares? It's a lathe .. or .. a mill .. a drill press. Just a machine. That 100 year old lathe was much cheaper then a new one the same size but does the exact same job a newer one would do.

Conduit

Were they using conduit like this in 1919? It looks pretty contemporary for 1919. I figured all wiring in that time frame would have been knob and tube. I'm thinking more like the 1930's here.

[Take a close look at the license plate. - tterrace]

Slicker than....

Please wipe your feet before leaving garage.

What a Revoltin' Development

To the left, we have Chester A. Riley, long before his stint at Cunningham Aircraft, performing a tuneup on the ol" flivver.

I've seen this Prison Movie!

The guy with the Boring Bar is upset because "Pretty Boy" is always front and center in all the pictures, well he'll just have to do something about that, something involving an "accident" with a Chain Hoist! Bwahahaha..

Re: Modern shop

Nixiebunny, I think the first stationary electric powered tools date from the late 1880s, so I think at least some would have been available in 1919. However, I think you're right that these were intended to be driven by belts from a line shaft and were converted to individual motors. For a currently working wrought iron and blacksmith shop set up to run from a line shaft powered by a 15 hp 1898 Reid, see http://www.sandersoniron.com and follow the "Studio" link. I think it's absolutely amazing.

For anyone in southern California who hasn't seen an old shop like this in person and wants to, the Carlsbad Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum has a running wood shop with everything running off of a line shaft that's powered by a big stationary steam engine. Lots of other fascinating stuff there, also.

Modern shop

All the machine tools (lathe, grinder etc.) are belt-driven units that have been fitted with individual electric motors. It may not have been possible to buy motor-driven machine tools at that time.

catch the tube

I wonder if the logo on the guy's cap refers to this?

 
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