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Locally Grown: 1918

Locally Grown: 1918

The Bay Area in 1918. "Service truck and greens." Eucalyptus trees and some sort of leafy vegetable. 5x7 glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.


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Tire mark on bed of truck

It is likely this truck had a spare set of steel wheels with lugs on them for muddy fields and that height would have been about right - aftermarket or farm built spec rim.

Not a lot of spinach eaters here, I see

Those are collards. Even in Alaska spinach doesn't get that big, and never mind the shape and texture of the leaves.

Not that I like collards, or anything.

Tyre Mark

The radius of the worn area of the body surely indicates that it is the same as the radius of the wheel and tyre. The end of the cross-beam is obviously worn by something as are the side timbers. The worn area on those is deeper towrds the rear of the mark. There is no evidence that 'fenders' or mudguards have ever been fitted over the rear wheels, and if they had, the radius would be greater than that of the wheel/tyre. It was quite common to not have rear mudguards on commercial vehicles.

The question is, how did the mark get there? I doubt if the spring could flex sufficiently for it to have been caused by overloading, therefore I suggest that driving a few miles with a broken spring, and the wheel rubbing the body is likely.

re: I say it's spinach... so do I

But spinach was not too bad. What I really hated as a child was turnip greens and collards. My mother served spinach with sliced boiled eggs. Not sure if that was regional (south Alabama) or a family recipe.

No foodies here?

Seems the erudite Shorpy fans are missing in these comments and don't know their Amaranthaceaes from their Brassicaceaes.

Broken Spring; Shifted Load

I would politely disagree with your assessment of the fender mounting, Dave. I do not see any evidence of mounting holes or hardware for said fender and the radius of the scrape is the same as the wheel, a fender would have a larger radius centered on the axle.
I surmise that perhaps a heavy load shifted while moving causing the spring to deflect enough to make the wheel contact the body side or the spring or one of its shackles broke causing the body to collapse down which would pivot on the good (far) spring and bring the wheel into contact with the wheel.
Just my 2¢

Not buying fender theory

I'm not so sure about the fender theory. I searched for other Service Motor Truck Company images and most don't have rear fenders. For it to be a fender witness mark, you'd have to assume it was harder for the manufacturer to cut the side of the presumed to be curved fender flat than it was to purposely build the wooden portion too large and the trim it back in a perfect tire shaped arch... That must have been some amazing spinning piece of machinery with a dangerous cutting head. Or it's just the tire.

The "Tire Mark"

Is where the rear fender used to be.

Drive Train Supplemental

Service trucks of that era did have a differential. It was mounted above the axle centerline and employed reduction gears that transferred power to the wheels. This allowed more ground clearance and a more compact drive assembly. It was quite advanced, for it's time, and not as primitive as one might think. Typically, smaller trucks, like this one, did not have chain drive. The big Macks, Federals, Morelands were chain driven. BTW, these big trucks also had differentials, which were solidly mounted to the frames. This made it simple to change final gear ratios for load and road conditions. All the mechanic had to do was change the drive sprocket and add or subtract a few links from the chain.

I say it's spinach,

And I say the hell with it.

Just Ask Popeye

The crop looks like spinach to me.

Tire Mark

It looks like there is a substantial tire mark on the body of the truck above the rear tire. It does not appear to be caused by a reflection of the tire or to have originated by the sides of the body dropping onto the top of the tire.

Possibly the impression was caused by the tire separating from the wheel rim. The wood below the mark seems to have rubbed free of all paint; the body is damaged above the tire mark; there are two grooves incised into the body panel - the bottom one curved; the wheel is damaged at about the 4 o'clock position; the wheel hub has an extra bolt holding it together (seven bolts instead of six in an equally spaced pattern); and the wheel has an extra split in it just after the 12 o'clock position (the marks at the 2 and 8 o'clock positions are where the two rim halves join together).

Even if the wheel did not fail, something definitely has damaged the truck.

Also of interest, the builder of the truck bed hand painted it with a floral design around each panel.

[What it marks is where the rear fender was. - Dave]

speaking of collared

geez, I've never dressed up that nice to even EAT my collard greens!

[Two of them look like inspectors or management types. -tterrace]

Identifying the crop

Looks like collard greens. Crazy situation with all the Eucalypts.

[If you grew up in the Bay Area, chances are you grew up with eucalyptus trees. I ate practically all my grade school lunches in the shade of an enormous one. -tterrace]

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