The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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.

© 2016 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Motor Check: 1924

Motor Check: 1924

Washington, D.C., 1924. "Havoline Oil Co." Participants in the "Wasson Motor Check" at the Texaco Station on the corner of Florida Avenue and 14th Street. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


Excellent, Lo-Tek motor condition check

They're checking the level of "blow-by" gasses. Modern cars (since 1965 in Calif) re-burn these fumes via the PCV system. In those days, a draft tube spewed them into the air.

Higher readings = worn piston rings and/ or valve seats.
additional symptoms: Heavy blue smoke & power loss.
Solution: Overhaul. much less expensive in those days.

With the inferior oils & metallurgy of the day, overhauls could come every 10,000 miles or so. These guys & their device could give you a pretty good idea how much longer your motor would last.


Figures could top 50 BHP back in this time. Why bother?


The fellow with the cigar could be cast as one of Nucky's Atlantic City henchmen.

Just Love It!

Nothing more to say.

Quiet Please!

Man sitting in window on the right to his wife: "It's hot, there's no AC, and with this window open all we hear is those motors running. We gotta move!"

Checking it out

The fellow with the cigar in his mouth is in charge of checking for gasoline leaks.

Dynamometer granddaddy

This must be the grandfather of all chassis dynamometers.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2016 Shorpy Inc.