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1952 Ford station wagon Homecraft machinery

Star Machinery Ford Wagon Sells Tools and Ideas to Handy Andy

Bill Rabel of Anacortes, Washington sent in this set of images taken next to the Star Machinery Company located in Seattle. He wrote: “These photos show a Ford station wagon, outfitted for a machinery salesperson. The company is Star Machinery, an outfit based in Seattle, founded in 1900. It still exists as Star Rentals, and rents construction and industrial equipment.”

The set of publicity images shows a Ford station wagon with a 1952 license plate outfitted as a mobile sales room filled with Homecraft machinery. The back of the Ford contains: a router, hand drill, drill press, jig saw and a band saw. Not only offering the machinery, the company has also wisely arranged a display of 25-cent “Build It Yourself” Easi-Bild Full Size Patterns to spark interest in the tools.

The Ford appears to be close to a brand new car and is equipped with a V-8. It is interesting to study the details of the tailgate supports and the hinges sixty plus years later in the age of todays hands-free counterparts. Both the upper and lower gates are operated manually – of particular interest on the upper hinges is the single exposed spring on the left to hold it open, and the wing nuts used to lock it in position.



16 responses to “Star Machinery Ford Wagon Sells Tools and Ideas to Handy Andy

      • Was wondering about that, did this whole set up slide out of the back? It appears there’s an additional floor that everything sits on, no doubt its what the heavy tools are attached to in some way to keep from moving around. But did the salesman pull them out by hand and set th em up for demonstrations, or did he have some sort of a portable work bench to go with it? Guess I’ll never know the answer to that.

  1. I wonder if the license tag assembly swung down because of the rear bumper? Otherwise the tailgate would not have laid flat & level?

  2. There’s also a disc sander behind the front seat. The license plate flips down the way it does so you can drive with the tailgate open hauling long cargo and still have your plate visible.

  3. Never having owned or operated one, I am guessing the lift gate support dosen’t wear out like the modern gas shock supports.
    The tailgate supports bear I striking resemblance to the lift gate supports of the 73-79 factory Ford truck caps.

    • I think you’re right on that. And if you lost the wing nut you could get another at a hardware store. With the amount of litigation manufacturer’s go through they’d never have a set up like this, some genius would close the top half on his head and voila, class action suit.

  4. Dang. I recognize the Star building, passed it many times, maybe even been inside. Just can’t remember exactly where it is other than the south end of Seattle area.

  5. I wonder if this is the building. Can’t leave a link, so simply google:
    “Photo collection for 241 S LANDER ST S / Parcel ID 7666205335”
    Second pic or street view looks like it could be the same building 60+ years later. It was quite a company back in the day.

  6. The license plate frame has a rod that is attached to the hinge of the wagon and is hid within the tailgate. When the lower gate is let down the rod lowers the license plate proportionally always allowing the license plate to be vertical or perpendicular to the road. One of Fords better ideas.

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