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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

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.

BHP

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

Boardwalker

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.

 
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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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