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Pit Stop: 1940

Pit Stop: 1940

July 1940. "Migrant fruit workers from Louisiana fixing flat tire along the road. Berrien County, Michigan." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Joke's on Russia

The Russian government showed their people the movie "The Grapes of Wrath" so they could see how bad things were in America. Instead, the Russian people were very impressed that even poor people in America owned cars.

No need to remove the wheel

On the Model A (and probably other cars of the period) could change tires or repair tubes without removing the wheel. I've done it a few times.

Safety rule , avoid pinch points

I hope that vehicle was blocked up securely and not just held up by a jack . They have a rock under the front right tire to stop forward motion. But judging from the tension on his forearms he's pulling hard on the hub or brake assembly . The rock is not going prevent sideways movement . This is while exposing his legs which are under the vehicle .

The George McFly light

Back when sealed-beam headlamps were secured by two adjusting screws and one strong spring (that is to say, only three decades ago), I used to joke that if you lost the spring, and the headlamp pointed into the treetops, you could spot Marty McFly's dad in time to stop.

And more to fix

looks like someone lost the little wire clips that hold the headlight lenses in place last time they got new bulbs! With the randomly oriented lenses, they are probably seeing only treetops and wandering possums at night.

A remarkable number of Shorpy migrant and depression era pictures include '28-9 Fords -- they were the national standard for cheap and reliable used cars.

[Also MIA: the passenger-side headlamp visor. - Dave]

The Job

I picked cherries in MI as a kid in the mid 50s. If nothing changed, they make you pick the whole tree (not just the easy cherries), and punched a ticket for every full bucket you gave them.

The punches turned into money when you turned in the ticket.

You could eat as many cherries as you wanted. This didn't turn out to be as many as you might think.

Expensive trip

Looks like they had to replace the front right tire outright already on this trip. Others look like they're getting their money's worth.

Berrien County is still a good fruit growing region--I grew up going downstairs almost every night for a mason jar of fruit my mom had canned after buying it for a very reasonable price. They're even getting some decent wineries after moving away from growing Concord grapes for bum wines for a long time.

Brake/break job.

This Model A Ford is in decent shape having lost a few items over the years such as horn, center bumper clamp, license plate clamps. Note the license plate was digging into the radiator, so it was moved to the side. The wheels are from a 1930-1931 Ford. This example is the 1928-1929 type, a Tudor in Ford parlance.

Safety First

...or as Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs" would say, "It's at least in the Top 10 there somewhere!" I'm glad they have that rock blocking the front wheel to keep that Ford from rolling away. It also looks like they'll be doing this again on down the road. Those tires appear to be the "Maypop" brand. You know, as in "they may POP at any time!"

The problem is deeper

If it were just a flat tire, why would he need to touch the wheel hub?

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