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Trublpruf: 1920

Trublpruf: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Draper window." A display for Lambert Trublpruf solid rubber tires, a business owned by Charles W. Draper. We've seen these earlier at Shorpy on a few trucks. National Photo glass negative. View full size.


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Changing tires

You wouldn't replace just the rubber as it was bonded to the detachable rim by the manufacturer. The tire/rim assembly could be taken off without removing the entire wheel. The mail truck shown here has detachable rims on the rear and the now more familiar separate tire and rim (seated bead style) on the front.

Incidental Image

The double image of the brickwork along the right side reflected in the glass is oddly imitative of tire tread. Like a great big tire is looming.

Balancing Act

I would bet anything caught in those holes such as a rock or a glob of hard dried mud would wreak havoc on tire balance and shake the heck out of a vehicle.

The Tweel

Airless tires

Modern wider versions of these are used extensively, mostly on Bobcats (skid steer loaders) in areas where there is sharp stuff on the ground.

In north central Ohio, many Amish use them on trailers, since they can't use inflated tires. They also use older diesel tractors (no spark plugs, thus no electricity), with the tires filled with some resilient material, and no valve stems on the tires.


Considering the poor roads and primitive suspensions they had back then, those tires must have made for a pretty bumpy ride.

Everything old is new again

While I agree with 99-thump (appropriately named for the sound of a ice filled tire), the military is gearing up for something similar.

Excellent find, Dave. Love the mechanical photos. Now if I could only get the "Snow Angels" out of my head and get back to work.


Wonder what happened when you parked in mud or snow for a while,
so that the holes on one side of the tire were filled with
solid gunk?

Old idea for new tires

The new airless tires that are presently in production seem to have copied an 80+ year old idea.

[If you mean run-flat tires, those aren't airless, at least not until they go flat. There is something called the tweel (tire+wheel) that is airless, but it's experimental. - Dave]

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