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Seven Speeds: 1921

Seven Speeds: 1921

San Francisco circa 1921. "G.W. Thomas Drayage -- Fageol truck." With a dynamo in tow. 6.5 x 8.5 inch glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.


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The Fageol brothers sold the truck business, and started Twin Coach, making buses, which became Flxible. Here is a link to a pretty exhaustive narrative of their dealings.

Seven Gears on the Road

Fageol is indeed the ancestor of Peterbilt. T.A. Peterman bought them out in 1938 and the first Peterbilt rolled out of Fageol's Oakland facility in 1939.

The "7" indicates a dual-range mid-mounted transmission which provided enough torque to haul heavy loads --especially up San Francisco's legendary hills--yet attain a reasonable highway speed. (Which, considering the state of roads in 1921 and the open cab, probably meant 35-40 mph)

6th and Townsend

Holbrook, Merrill & Stetson's plumbing supply warehouse was at 6th and Townsend. Note the railyard with Southern Pacific passenger cars in the background; their depot was at 3rd & Townsend. This view likely looks roughly northwest from the area of 6th & Berry streets, now directly under the I-280/John F. Foran freeway.

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Hybrid drive

Note the pair of whippletrees on the wagon, in case a return to animal power is needed. Also the need to reach behind the front bumper to turn the starter crank. The machine being hauled looks like a rotary converter, used to produce 600-volt DC for railway traction, from an alternating current source.

All 7

Slow, very slow, really quite slow ...


Ancestor of Peterbilt!

Holbrook, Merrill & Stetson

Was at the corner of Market and Beale streets.

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