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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Another Federal: 1918

Another Federal: 1918

"Truck -- Federal, 1918." Outside the premises of the Serbo-Croatian Produce Company somewhere in San Francisco. 5x7 inch glass negative. View full size.

 

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Location

Wellman Grocers can be seen in the photo, which was located at 317 Embarcadero. You can see their name painted on building in the background, and on a huge sign to the right that more than likely faced the bay. This would put this scene on a block south of Wellman Grocers, and on a street parallel to Embarcadero. Not Clay St, it's the 300 block of Drumm.

Details

The pinstripe detailing on this truck is also impressive. The pinstripes are easily seen on the hood and front fenders, but note the stripes everywhere else such as the corners of the radiator, outer body area below the seat, plate holding the horn, frame area that is connecting to the front springs, tool box on running board, wheel spokes and even the squares striped onto the outer wheel openings between the bolts. I would bet most of that was done free hand by an artist in the factory.

Also, just dropping the side and rear roll up curtains would certainly help on a windy winter day by breaking the wind verses sitting out in the open.

Impressive

The detailing of the 'fence' that runs around the bed of this monster. Hard to imagine what such an embellishment would cost today.

Also, Adrien Brody

3rd from right

Okay, line up

Handsome Rakes on the left, Average Joes on the right.

Federal driver

Is it just me or is the truck driver Harrison Ford in a previous life?

The Thing

To answer the question about the thing hanging from the truck's left front spring: it's a leather pouch, attached to a short lanyard, into which the crank handle should be inserted in order to maintain ground clearance and prevent the handle from swinging while the vehicle is underway.

On Second Thought

This is probably 320 Clay Street.

The "320 C" (OK, it could be an O or Q, but neither of those letters work) on the sign is kind of obvious now, and looking back on old photos of the Wellman, Peck & Co. building (turns out it was at Jackson and Embarcadero) you'd have to be looking roughly northeast. 320 Clay fits perfectly.

320 Clay now houses a US Post Office, and as can be guessed the neighborhood doesn't look remotely the same.

Any idea?

What's that thing hanging from the driver's side leaf spring?

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