SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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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Tractor Pull: 1921

Tractor Pull: 1921

February 1921. Washington, D.C. "Army car at Connecticut Avenue Bridge." Another view of the modified Model T last seen here under review. Note the repurposed New York license plate with U.S. ARMY ORD(NANCE) DEPT painted on the back. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Firestone Non-Skid

A 1913 ad for the 24" Firestone Non Skid tires.

Creative anachronisms

Breeches, boots, and spurs were proper daily attire for officers of all Army branches -- when serving with troops -- until the eve of World War II, and appropriate on a number of other occasions as well. Pilots were permitted to remove their spurs in the cockpit lest they become fouled in the rudder cables, and many non-cavalry officers omitted that accessory entirely, but the fashion persisted even in roles and venues we'd not normally associate with the need to impel a horse to further effort in the show ring or on the battlefield.

The arm bands denote some special, temporary function, perhaps as umpires for the testing of this vehicle.

Remnants of the Horse Cavalry

Notice the spurs on the boots of the officer at the left front of the photo!

Re: Steering

Differential application of the brakes, I suspect. Slowing the driving wheel on the one side speeds up the driving wheel on the other and their respective tracks follow suit.

Advertise your tyres

I have finally worked out what the tire treads say: NON SKID. A great way to advertise your product, by leaving your brand name in the mud. By the way, what are the white arm bands for?

[Those Firestone NON-SKID treads can also be seen here and here. - Dave]


In this view we can see where this thing gets all of its traction. It's those 8 non-skid tires (right there written in the tread).


Do you think it steered by moving the front wheels and bending the tracks? It would have a 200' turning radius if so.

U.S. Army Ord Dept

got to the perfect watermark spot before SHORPY did.

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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