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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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- Need Lumber Quick?

- Need Lumber Quick?

San Francisco in 1920. "Federal truck -- Van Arsdale-Harris Lumber Co., Fifth and Brannan." 5x7 glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Lumber Support

Those turnbuckles are for lumber support. Helps keep the truck from having back problems.

The Clock

At this time clocks were still mechanical because you couldn't count on the accuracy of the 60 cycle frequency of AC to keep electric clocks accurate. Instead, they either used batteries or AC to run a motor that would wind the clock when the running weight got to the bottom (think grandfather clocks).

Freight car style turnbuckle trusses

In my neck of the woods they were referred to as hog rods. They were frequently used in old wood-framed buildings as primary roof supports. I believe they were employed in Mississippi/Missouri River steamboats before railroad freight cars. They were oriented oppositely to those in freight cars and prevented the boat's hulls from hogging, i.e., bending upward in the middle. See The Western Rivers Steamboat Cyclopoedium by Alan L. Bates.

Under the Eaves

A very interesting location to place a pendulum clock. You can see the hinges where It could be opened up and wound or adjusted. I wonder if the case still contained the original works when the photo was taken, or if the clock had been swapped out for one powered by electricity.

I hope the driver tightens down the rope before beginning his delivery as it does not seem very taut.

Front brakes are dangerous!

So this Federal truck has none. We also like the freight car style turnbuckle trusses under the frame, certainly overkill for the wimpy lumber load we see here.

If an L then good wood is good !

Perhaps not worth posting but I laughed at my own joke. Sorry!

SF Tennis Club

Is the present occupant. The high pressure hydrant on the other side of Brannan St was likely moved when they widened the street.

Sometimes it's better not to know

A 1912 ad in the "San Francisco Call" shows "White Brothers," a lumber company, at Fifth and Brannan.

Disappointed by reality, once again.

After so many years

why the L do you want to know now?


PLEASE! Anybody know what comes after the E?

[So to speak. - Dave]

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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