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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Old Unreliable: 1921

Old Unreliable: 1921

New Zealand circa 1921. "Wanganui Fire Brigade's Merryweather fire engine on blocks, probably in Chavannes Garage. When new, the vehicle had a large hose reel, later removed and replaced by rear lockers. A report in January 1926 stated that the machine was useless and unreliable. It was sold a short time later for 60 pounds." Glass negative by Frank J. Denton. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Drive mechanism in the background.

Notice the pulley drive system in the background behind the wall. I assume they had some sort of machine shop in the back driven by a belt and pulley system.

Kingpin replacement

Looks like the boys are replacing the kingpin on the right front wheel. Also notice the plain (non-ball or roller) bearing that the wheel runs on. Plenty of work there for the machine shop on the other side of that wall!

Any more pictures in this series? Sure would love to see some of those machines hooked to all those belts.

Love those Sideshafts

That stationary engine is a sideshaft and looks a lot like a Tangye engine. Engines with sideshafts are uncommon, and the sideshaft is responsible for operating the ignition of the engine as well as governing the speed.

All the Comforts of Hell

Six solid rubber tires, a chain drive, all that shiny brass, and no true driver seat. You either stood to drive it, or sat on the board behind the wheel.

I can't imagine why they didn't think this was the most wonderful vehicle ever made.

What a great picture

Line shaft machine shop behind the wall.
Hit and miss air compressor on the lower left.
Jig table front and center.
Modern shop in the day.

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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