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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • LAKE GARDA, ITALY

Gutter Ball: 1916

Gutter Ball: 1916

February 4, 1916. Washington, D.C. "Auto wreck at 14th & T," under a light dusting of snow and mold. Continuing the thread of vehicular mayhem we started earlier today. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

The Good News...

They didn't have to go very far to hire a new car!

Front Tire Chain Explanation

Its easy to see why the tire chain is only on the left front tire - the tire is bald! The rear tires still have tread, but trying to steer with a smooth front tire would be nearly impossible. Its also on the wheel which is attached directly to the steering gear.

On the Upside

It probably got good mileage.

At least

Those beautiful side lamps can be salvaged. Amazing to read that clipping and realize that no one in either car was seriously injured.

The Chauffeur was Fined $20

From the Washington Evening Star, February 4, 1916:

The Building

Seems to be pretty much intact under the ugly red paint. The decorative facade is still visible. I'm not sure about the 3 stacked bowling balls and pin. I think I see them when I move in front of the building but it's hard to get a good view through the tree and shadows.


View Larger Map

Beware

The tree huggers are going to raise Hell.

Learning experience

February 5, 1916: When auto mechanics began to tell customers that the chains should be on the rear tires.

SCARY

He did have on tire chains.

Glass and chains

Auto safety glass was a *huge* advance - considering no seat belts, either.

Interesting that the chains are on the front wheels. In my early driving years, before snow tires, the chains on passenger cars went on the rear wheels, for propulsion. I do remember fire trucks and police cars with chains front and rear....

Chains

Weren't those cars rear wheel drive? Why put chains only on the front tires?

Terrifying

Two features about this wreck as well as the earlier one that scare me witless: the body torn right off the chassis (which, if wooden, disintegrates), and the shards of windshield glass.

How fortunate for the driver

there was a car rental place just a few steps away.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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