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Grading on a Curve: 1922

Grading on a Curve: 1922

San Francisco, 1922. "Cliff House road construction, view of Sutro Heights and Playland amusement park." 6x8 inch glass negative. View full size.


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Erie Type A

Just a guess on the shovel, Erie Type A?

Here's one in action, looks like a handful to operate.

Dealer 27

The automobile dealer number on the license plate (27) indicates that the car was being sold by W. J. Benson Co. located at 1420 Van Ness, San Francisco in 1922. Benson sold the Stephens marque circa 1919 - 1923, but he was in automobile business in San Francisco both before and after these years.

Watch it now!

If you go to Kinzers in PA, you can watch these earth-moving mechanical masterpieces working hard, still today. Beautiful machines!

Construction's finished

This is the current view looking southeast along Point Lobos Avenue from the Cliff House.

The sprawling amusement park visible in the 1922 photograph (which eventually became "Playland at the Beach") was demolished in 1972 and replaced in the 1980s by the dreadful condominiums visible today.

True Steam Shovel

The ancient construction equipment in this photo would warm the heart of any old truck enthusiast.

The excavator in the foreground is a true steam shovel complete with steam escaping from the safety valve. Other than museums, I have not seen one of those at work since the 1960's, and they were obsolescent even then.

In the background, there's another steam-powered crane. We can't see what it's doing; likely working a clamshell bucket or a dragline bucket.

The truck in front of the far crane seems to have a canopy on the back, possibly sheltering an air compressor. (The hoses strewn about the site are presumably air hoses.)

My vote's with Hayslip

The radiator shell is a match for the Stephens, and the logo is the right shape. The only thing that doesn't match is the hubcaps.

Dave, can you please give us a closeup of the logo on the radiator shell? This one had me stumped, until Hayslip posted. Not a lot of pictures of Stephens on the Web.

[The car is indeed a Stephens. - Dave]

A Duesie

The car is a 1922 Duesenberg. I have the book by Don Butler on Auburn Cord Duesenberg with the perfect match. The two brothers Fred and Augie are on the radiator emblem but can't be seen well on your photo.

[The car here is most definitely not a Duesenberg. - Dave]

Car ID suggestion

1922 Stephens Salient Six-93

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