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An Early Garage Scene and the New 1906 Maxwell Cab-Over Truck Carrying a Maxwell Car

The image above of proud automobile owners posing for a photograph was a scene that was duplicated thousands of times all across the land as Americans, who could afford one, bought a horseless carriage. From left-to-right above we see three circa 1905 automobiles: a Mitchell, a Tourist that was built in Los Angeles, and a Winton. Unfortunately, nothing more is known about the garage or its location. The photo was posted by Herb Iffrig on the forum at the MTFCA, where you can learn all there is to know about the Model T Ford.

The New 1906 Maxwell Cab-Over Truck

1906 Maxwell Cab-Over Truck

The first decade of the 1900s was a time when very few trucks were sold commercially, and the movement of goods was still the domain of the horse and wagon. Here we have what appears to be a one-year effort by the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company to enter the truck market late in 1905. This was also first year of production for the new Maxwell car that was powered by a horizontally-opposed two cylinder engine.

The new truck was featured late in the season in The Horseless Age magazine, October 25, 1905 issue, and introduced as a 1906 model. The new offering’s chassis and running gear used many of the same components as the car with a strengthening where necessary. Framework that was enclosed was constructed to support a wagon-like seat and floorboards above the power plant and radiator. For steering a rather makeshift vertical steering column, gearbox and drag link exposed in front of the radiator was used.

For how long the truck was manufactured is unknown, as no other references to it have been uncovered, although the full details of it can be found below. It appears to have survived at least a year as one of the Maxwell Trucks was in service at the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Races held the following October in 1906. The next truck that the automaker added its line up appears to have been in 1917. The photo (above) is courtesy of MochetVelo, who posted it on the forum at the HCCA.

  • 1906 Maxwell Cab-Over Truck
  • The “Horseless Age” magazine, October 25, 1905.

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9 responses to “An Early Garage Scene and the New 1906 Maxwell Cab-Over Truck Carrying a Maxwell Car

  1. I believe this is probably 2616 – 2618 Pasadena Avenue, Los Angeles, California.

    I figured this out by enlarging the photo to specifically look at the “FOR RENT” sign above the boys. The sign shows the name of the real estate agent Mr. T. L. O’Brien.

    At first I couldn’t read the bottom line, but I then searched the Library of Congress searchable newspaper index called Chronicling America. I input his name and it starts to appear in 1905 in the Los Angeles Herald (and Sunday Herald). Ads for property he is selling/renting start to appear in 1906. From his ads it became clear that the line at the bottom of the sign is “Jefferson & Main” which was his business address.

    I then confirmed that Los Angeles had an “East” telephone exchange. This exchange was in existence in 1908 and possibly before then.

    From there I was able to find the Auto Exchange and Supply Company listed at 2616 Pasadena Ave in the Los Angeles City Directory 1909 on page 1529. Unfortunately the directory does not list phone numbers which would have confirmed the information above. I could not quickly find a 1905, 1906 , 1907, or 1908 directory online. I did not see a similar listing in the 1911 directory.

    Hopefully someone in the Los Angeles area might be able to confirm all of this information above at their library or genealogical society (who may have copies of the 1905 – 1908 directories or phone books).

  2. To enlarge the photo I looked at the html source file for the webpage, found the largest image of the photos among the .jpg files, opened the photo in a separate web browser window, and then used the magnification feature of my web browser. It’s a clumsy way to perform the enlargement process, and sometimes the magnified image is no better than the original, but it worked well enough for this photo.

    I believe the StreetView image you referenced is the same building. All eight of the second story window lentils can still be seen, the row of dentil brick work below the cornice, and the long horizontal detail between the first and second floors all look exactly the same. Even the recessed openings for the entrance doors are visible in both locations.

  3. Further research shows that the repair shop existed at this location from 1908 – 1910. In 1908 it was run by Henry J. Coger, and in 1909-1910 it was run by William S. Rush.

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