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Garage Related Photographs from the Dawn of Motoring

Today’s feature contains three circa 1905 to ’06 images that all relate to garages in some way. The first photo was taken in front of the Carlton Garage and Repair Co. Research in period trade magazines has resulted in finding that the firm was located in the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, at the intersection of  Saint Marks and Vanderbilt Avenues; the building has not survived.

In the 1905 to ’10 period the Garage sold Winton, and Corbin automobiles, and possibly the Lozier car which was manufactured at the time in Plattsburgh, New York. The open-fronted limousine in the photograph is a circa ’06 Lozier and may be a 45 h.p. Model “D”; a smaller 35 h.p. car and a larger 60 h.p. model were also offered. The vehicle’s very unusual wheels appear to be constructed with metal spokes that are fastened to clincher rims with a clamp and two bolts.

Tell us what you find of interest in this set of three photos. You can learn more about the exceptional Lozier automobile in earlier articles here at The Old Motor. The photographs are courtesy of the Detroit Public Library.

  • This photo dated 1906 shows an automobile by an unknown maker used for the promotion of the “Accurate” Fire Extinguisher. Many early fire departments used a similar fire fighting rig that at the time was referred to as a “Chemical Car.”

  • We finish up today with a 1905 Thomas racing car with a 750 c.i. 60 h.p. six-cylinder 5.38-inch bore x 5.50-inch stroke engine; the long wheel-based car had a lengthy 96-inch hood. It ran in the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Elimination Race but was not chosen to run in the main event. 

15 responses to “Garage Related Photographs from the Dawn of Motoring

  1. I didn’t get a photo of it, but there was a white “Chemical Car”, made by American La France on a Model T chassis at the Donald Gilmore Pre 1942 Classic at the Gilmore Car Museum at Hickory Corners, Michigan this past Saturday 20 May 2017.

  2. The City of Pasadena, CA has their 1st piece of fire fighting apparatus which is a chemical car. It is restored & running & is on display in a special showroom at the fire station on So. Fair oaks Ave. I believe it is an American LaFrance & this vehicle is in the Guinness Book for having only one owner it’s entire life.

  3. As I recall, there were one or more articles in the Horseless Carriage Club Gazette, concerning the restoration of the Pasadena Fire Department’s chemical apparatus. Each of the two chemical tanks originally had hammered copper ends , but I believe that one of the tanks was missing. Rather than recreate a pair of ends out of copper, substitutes were made of fiberglass. Nonetheless, the restoration was very impressive. If one is interested in further information, these articles were probably published in the mid-1960s.

  4. An enlargeable photo showing the front of the chemical car photo can be found at the following link. Replace the two instances of the word “dot” with a period.

    digitalcollections dot detroitpubliclibrary dot org/islandora/object/islandora%3A174341/datastream/IMAGE/view

  5. What leaves me shaking my head is the 750 cubic inches it takes to make 60 h.p. My lawn tractor almost makes that with less than 75 c.i.!! Sheeeesh!!

    • Ken, remember that 60 h.p. isn’t necessarily 60 h.p. The system they were using was A.L.A.M./R.A.C./S.A.E., in which bore X a random number X number of cylinders gave you a figure used for tax purposes. Brake h.p. is used today. I ran the numbers on a Chevrolet Z-11 396 V-8 using the ALAM(Assoc. of Licensed Auto Manufacturers) method and it came out as 53 h.p. A.L.A.M. h.p./375 brake h.p.

  6. Ken, if you took your lawn mower power plant and dropped it in the Thomas chassis and had the ability to challenge the 750 cubic inch original Thomas race car, you wouldn’t even stand a chance! The original Thomas is a torque monster.Six cylinder cars were only a few years on the scene and not fully sorted out. That’s why four cylinder cars wiped it in the Elimination Race. Thomas offered the 60HP Six engine in a touring in 1905 in a 124 inch wheelbase at $6,000. Evidently, atmospheric valves don’t work well on a 6, for it wasn’t offered in 1906. 1906 produced two fine 6 cylinder cars: the Franklin air-cooled 302 cubic inch Model H, and the $5,000 Stevens-Duryea Model S Big Six, 558 cubic inches,
    50HP and 122 inch wheelbase. Never underestimate fat engines with low compression rates and
    hefty flywheels

  7. With that bore and stroke, and a straight-6 layout, you can understand why the bonnet on the Thomas is so long!

  8. “Horsepower” as you will note—( being low, – in comparison with today’s H.P. ratings), – is “almost an afterthought”, – (one century or a bit more, ago!!!),— compared to the advantage of the (huge) Cubic Inch sized Bore & Stroke of the 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, cylinder engines which had the “Claim to fame” of : —(huge amounts of)— pure, raw Torque! This, combined with a heavy flywheel/clutch assembly produced a very necessary ability to (successfully) “slog through” the horrible wet Winter or wet Summer dirt road conditions of yester-year! only larger towns or cities were paved with “bone-shaking” brick or cobblestones, and the “transition to dirt ” was immediate at the “City Limits “signs”! Torque was also important for climbing hills — with a minimum of “Down-Shifting”, as many who Claimed to be: “Skilled Motorists” never attained the necessary skills of: “Double-Clutching “, (a requirement for a minimum of (expensive!) “grinding noises”! Torque was also for: “bragging rights” of: “How low you could go” — in High Gear”, — (even to the point of engine damage!). When the number of cylinders went up — the bore sizes went down , thus, was seen the Rise in H.P. and the Reduction in Torque, – (comparitively)- and this had mainly to do with the (Thank-you Mr, Henry Ford!!!) paving of “Highways”between cities, which also included the “evolvement” of wheel size, wheel materials , tire sizes , de-mountable rims and “Balloon tires,( another topic); All related to Speed — and speed alone!

  9. You will notice that the absolutely elegant ( Chauffer Operated Limousine ) had very Tall tires, the Diameter of which was necessarily large to span Mud Holes, “slog” through thick mud, climb over downed limbs and successfully “ford” creeks, small rivers, roads awash from flooding and dry dirt “wash-board surface” roads. Many leaf spring techniques (centuries old in design) were necessary on earlier (& later!)_cars. “Snubbers” and “Shock Absorbers” came a bit later, as the “well to do” ventured to the countryside for picnics & trips. Clever Henry Ford offered cars with Four -1/4 – Elliptic Leaf Springs, by Center- Clamping: Two (Front & Rear) transverse – mounted above each axle, which also allowed for (better) front & rear axle pivoting “mobility” in dealing with difficult surfaces where Fords could go!!! — (where others, Way more expensive — feared to tread!!!) In the Model “T” days , Henry Ford offered Generator/Electro – Magnet (Model “TT” Trucks – of course!), – (“Sponsored by: Local Ford Dealers – of course ), to: 1: Drag a multi-tined set of forks to dig up old horse-shoe nails—and 2: to Electro-magnetically Attract them , Collect them – and dispose of them —shown in a Pile! — in front of the Ford Agency (of course!). Gradually, this (much needed) and (many repeats!) publicity stunt was very valuable to all Cars, Motorcycles and Trucks , who ventured where Horses had gone before — for centuries! Note: the 2 Spare (unmounted!) tires — on the roof of the Limousine ! (The sign of a well-prepared Chauffer!) This car was a traveler!!!

  10. Do you remember the “old adage”: “Don’t throw water on a Gasoline Fire, as it can spread the flames “? In many cases , this can be very true — depending upon the skill (???) of the person – and Method – of applying the water , a “risky” “guesswork” (crap-shoot!) kind of attempt — to successfully and fully extinguish a Gasoline blaze, —especially on any automotive product of 2 or More wheels! It is NOT (apologies for “capital” letters). Recommended!!! Only utilize an Extinguisher designed for Gasoline Fire Extinguishing Service . (Sadly, I have witnessed the aftermath of a restored 1931 Cadillac V-12 Touring Car that did burn to the ground — from an attempted water- hose “put out the fire” – “try” , — but spread it out – enough — to destroy the car — at a parade — full of City – County and State Officials. They all escaped, safely) Circa: 1970 . NOTE: that in this (Old Motor News) picture that they say: “Chemical Extinguishers” NO! I see: Both: Smaller hand-held Water- Filled (!!!) Soda -Acid Reaction Fire Extinguishers and I am NOT sure about the larger horizontal ones but they could also be (???) of the Water Filled, —Soda -Acid Reaction type ?—Either of which can cause unwanted trouble in extinguishing a Gasoline related fire! In earlier days — Carbon Tetrachloride “Pyrene” Chemical (pumped )Fire Extinguishers were the best for Gasoline fires (but not for humans to breathe the fumes!) The C-O2 ($$$) (Clean!) or the” Dry Powder” ( El Cheap-o) (Very Messy & Dirty!!!) types will do it! Edwin Winet , formerly of a Flame-Proofing & Fire Extinguisher Re-filling Company , during high school in 1958. I write this — because the shown old -timey hand-held Soda/Acid Fire Extinguishers are still around!!! NO Good for garages, — NO Good for vehicles where Gasoline IS usually involved!!! (apologies for the caps!) Please consult your local Fire Department, IF you value your old car Note: Correct Extinguishers are mandatory at AACA shows!

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