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Jacked Up: 1915

San Francisco circa 1915. "Studebaker motor car in repair shop with garage mechanic." Don't try this at home. Or at work. 6.5 x 8.5 inch glass negative from the Wyland Stanley collection of Bay Area historical memorabilia. View full size.

San Francisco circa 1915. "Studebaker motor car in repair shop with garage mechanic." Don't try this at home. Or at work. 6.5 x 8.5 inch glass negative from the Wyland Stanley collection of Bay Area historical memorabilia. View full size.


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Dad will love this

He's an auto mechanic and this will be great on his garage wall!


The post WW2 Studebakers had them as an option for drivers who were slow on the clutch pulling ahead from stops when driving uphill. This decades earlier photo reminds me of that factory option, one of the Studebaker corporation's many innovations. They generally made sturdy and well-engineered vehicles, worthy of a better fate than befell them in the 1960s.

[That would be a very handy option for driving in the City, believe me. -tterrace]

Done that at home!

We have a set of those chain falls hanging up in our barn/smithy. In fact the last time they were used was to lift the rear of a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle so my dad could drop and remove the engine.


The chain hoist is not now supporting the auto. The continuous chain goes up over the top pulley, around the bottom pulley, and then back over the top adjoining pulley. I think this makes the weight lifted seem to be half of actual. My high school physics was lost years ago. At any rate, it might have taken two guys to lift the car, but it isn't very heavy. If there is not a locking cog on one of the pulleys the wood frame support will be positioned by helpers while the lifters hold the load.

I like the creeper

I like his homemade creeper, very well thought out and perfect for working like that. I bet he could still bend when he got home at night.

It's going to be a son of a gun to get that piston back in the cylinder from underneath with the crankshaft and everything in the way.

Not a Photographer

That 'tripod' is a sledgehammer leaning against a table with some sort of heavy vice attached to it.

As a side observation, this is the first garage I have ever seen that hasn't been plastered with advertisements, calendars, lists of prices, x-rated posters or any of that kind of paraphernalia at all.

My guess is it hasn't been in operation for very long (hence the surprisingly clean floors).

[As noted in Perpster's comment, the photographer and his tripod are reflected in the car door. A heavy vice: sinful. A heavy vise: useful. - Dave]

Crucial Omission

They forgot to include the smoldering butt which ought to be dangling from the corner of the mechanic's mouth.

Only one small concern.

Those supports are more than sturdy enough to support an automobile. However, the lack of wheel chocks is troubling.

Best Practices

OK the car appears to be supported by both the jackstand under the front axle and also by the chain hoist. I think it would have also been prudent to use a couple of wheel chocks on each of the rear wheels. Just for peace of mind.

So jacked up!

Ok, I am assuming that hydraulic jacks weren't in existence back then.

Also, probably the cleanest garage I ever saw. The broom in the background must have been used a lot.

Bearing replacement

Oil pan has been dropped and the mechanic has a piston and rod positioned. Posed for the photographer it seems since the bearing cap is attached to the rod. Or maybe he is making sure the cap stays with its proper rod.


It looks safe enough to me. The wood is sturdy and under compression only, and presumably can't slip off the axle.

Also the weight of the car is mostly on the back wheels.

I do question how they got it up there, what with only two pulleys apparent. Maybe there are more hidden behind.

The lift arrangement apparently can roll anywhere on the overhead track where it's needed.

Crouching Photographer, Hidden Lens

Tripod in the right front pocket (door). Capped photographer visible on his knees.

Hey you!

Out of the gene pool!
I sure hope the brake is set.

Quintessential garage decor.

As one who enjoys tinkering with my vehicles, I must say this photo would look fantastic on display in my garage. I love it.

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