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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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To the Rescue: 1925

To the Rescue: 1925

San Francisco circa 1925. "California State Automobile Association -- Emergency Road Service motorcycle." Perhaps an adjunct to the Broken Glass Depart­ment. 8x10 nitrate negative from the Wyland Stanley collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

AA Dinky Toy

When I searched in my box of Dinky Toys of some 60 years ago, looking for the model of a Blaw-Knox Bulldozer, I also found this model of an AA Emergency Road Service motorcycle.


A 1925 Model B Harley. 61 cubes with an "F" valve arrangement (overhead intake valves, exhaust valves are in the cylinder).

Pics here too:

A lot of weight

That's a lot of weight to be hauling around on a device that has only the rear brake to rely on. (No front brake and no sidecar brake.)

I imagine that every fast stop would be a "panic stop" when riding this bike! I guess he could always throw an anvil on a rope overboard!


Probably not a lot of it: 2 wheels out of 3 are visible, and neither has a brake of any kind. If these things were used in San Francisco, must have made for an adventurous day.

Remain Flexible?

If the emergency road repair doesn't work out he could convert that unit to an ice cream cart.

Mr Fix It

Does this guy know how to fix a Magneto?

Emergency Assistance

If that rear tire blows who does the driver call?

SHORPY OLD 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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