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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 • THE CITY OF RUINS AND ROSES, c. 1930

Minker Motor Co.: 1922

Minker Motor Co.: 1922

Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Minker Motor Co., 14th Street N.W." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

The rest of the story

At least about the building, not the actual company: here.

Columbia Dump Truck?

Columbia, which built cars from 1916 - 1924, never made trucks, but this is definitely a Coumbia based truck.

This appears to be a 1917 - first half of 1922 car that has been converted to a truck. Columbia's hood, hood sides, headlights, and radiator/grille remained the same during this period of time so a more definite dating would be very difficult.

That being said, the running board and fenders do not look very beat up; however, it would have been fairly easy for a Columbia dealer to replace damaged originals.

The front and rear tires are are of two different makes (a pretty bald Beacon and a slightly worn Lehigh). Look at the tire on the running board for comparison (also a Lehigh).

The windshield has been modified to stand straight up. On Columbia open cars this is normally tilted back. Note how the top posts for attaching a convertible/folding top are pointing forward instead of pointing straight up as shown in Columbia photos and brochures. The piece that extends from the bottom of the windshield to the top of the cowl is missing.

Is this a dump truck? There is a round cutout in front of the rear tire about the running board. This looks like it is for attaching a crank handle to raise the bed/body of the truck and dumping a load. It could also be for a power take off (PTO) to run another piece of machinery. The man in front of the cab is blocking the view that would help to determine if the cab lifts with the bed.

I think it is a dump truck. There is a fairly wide gap running through the cab from behind the man to the cabs right hand side. There is also a cross beam that extends to the very edge of the cab under the number "14th" painted on the body of the bed.

I imagine that originally this was a Coumbia touring car that was in an accident,and they rebodied it to make a service truck.

The wire wheels were a $100 Columbia option.

Characters

Some interesting chaps in that photo, and an interesting truck; good fodder for interwebz research.

Hey! What is Al Capone doing in the photo?

Shoeshine Analysis

I have always thought that, back in the day, men took pride in having well-shined shoes. Of the three men in suits standing in front of the truck, the one on the left, who has the best suit, seems to have at least the remnant of a shine, the guy in the middle looks like he dug ditches in those things, and the guy in the rear with the straw boater has a badly fitting suit, but at least a decent shine. Wouldn't a car salesman taken a little more care in his appearance?

Blue Collar Neckties

I had a friend who worked as a plumber on new construction jobs. He always wore white shirt and tie under his coveralls at the site. He said that many of the guys in construction also wore them, they kept the cold out.

How odd compared to today

Has anyone ever seen Boston ferns in the front window of ANY automobile dealership?

Interchangeable Wheels

Note the gear teeth on the inner hub of each wheel. I believe this is done so any wheel can replace the wheel that drives the speedometer gearbox. I see the side-mount spare is locked to its mount: technology changes but people don't.

Still there

Lotsa nice details

This is one of the finer Photographs. I notice the guy in the middle didn't notice to fix his pant cuff. The mechanics seem to be paper cutouts. I'd guess it's because of some combination of depth-of-field and lighting. And what does it mean when even a mechanic wears a necktie?

 
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