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The Outing: 1919

The Outing: 1919

        "Goodness, Isobel -- we seem to be out of gas!"

San Francisco circa 1919. "Maxwell touring car." Transporting its tourists on what looks to be a chilly day. 5x7 glass negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.


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The sprocket (actually, a gear) is part of the speedometer drive. The smaller gear, which can be seen in the photo, drove the angle drive which, in turn, spun the cable that connected to the speedo head, inside the car. In the early cars, like this Maxwell, the cable was a small inked chain that rode inside of an armored outer sleeve. Most cars used Warner speedometers at the time

Stewart Speedometer

As Goats Of Venus suggests, the visible gear and sprocket on the front wheel are indeed part of the drive mechanism for a speedometer—most likely a Stewart model (later Stewart Warner).  A very good discussion with pictures of fitting one on a Ford Model-T can be found here.

Front Sprocket?

Can any automotive historians explain the purpose of the toothed sprocket that can be seen between the spokes of the right front wheel hub? Perhaps the speedometer drive?

Oh, baloney

Those are some smooth front tires


It appears they have more problems than being out of gas. It seems the road kinda disappears.

[The rather artificial look of the "rocks" suggests this was taken in Golden Gate Park. -tterrace]

Test drive?

Maybe it's the angle, but it appears the man is a passenger...and the front plate on the car is a dealer plate. It makes me wonder if they were doing a test drive--or perhaps a spouse is the one taking the picture and the ladies wanted to show off their stylish duds.

I remember my grandmother wearing shoes like those for as long as she could get about. I'm not a clothes horse but I'd love to go back for a day to wear the hat and coat of the lady on the left. Just stunning!

[The Christopher Helin photos were taken for his automotive articles in the San Francisco Examiner, generally using cars from local dealers. -tterrace]

Gas or no gas

First base is out of the question with those suits of armor.

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