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Vehicles Involved in the 1934 West Coast Longshore Workers Strike Part II

We are back with the second part of this feature which takes a look at vehicles in San Francisco, California, involved in the 1934 Longshore Workers Strike. In the lead image SFPD officers are questioning car and truck drivers and it contains left-to-right, a tow truck, a Model “A” Ford “San Francisco Maid” milk truck, a 1932 Ford, and a 1930 Model “A” Ford.

View Part I of this feature here, the images are courtesy of the Bancroft Library.

  • SFPD officers in a Chevrolet sedan talking to Strikers at the Produce Market.

  • SFPD officers loading Strikers that were aressted into the front of an unusual looking “paddy” trailer.

  • An early Fageol tractor made across the bay in in Oakland, CA, towing a low bed moving trailer and a low bed truck are parked across the street from Strikers in front of a railroad yard.

9 responses to “Vehicles Involved in the 1934 West Coast Longshore Workers Strike Part II

  1. That paddy trailer looks like a Bowlus product, which has the same exterior layout as the Bowlus Road Chief. The company changed hands and became Airstream. The Bowlus brand has been resurrrected, and the trailer is being produced again.

  2. Some interesting commercial vehicles in the last picture. The tractor towing the very low bed trailer is possibly a Fageol, going by the vents on the hood. I wonder what the low bed stake truck is.

    In the first photo I reckon the van is a Ford A and the tow truck on the left – ‘TY BROS’ – is a Cadillac. The blur on the right is a ’32 Ford.

    • My guess (and it’s just a guess) is a circa 1930 Fageol. The truck’s part of G W Thomas Drayage & Rigging’s fleet. They had a 1921 4-ton Fageol that was used in Kelly-Springfield’s 1922 tire advertisements. Since they had a history of using Fageol, it was a local manufacturer, and the hood resembles late 20s and early 1930s Fageols, that’s my scientific wild guess.

  3. The May 14, 1934 edition of The Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont) has a great 3/4 view of the right side of the late 1920s sedan pulling the trailer. The original caption reads “FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE STRIKEBREAKER: A trailer van in which substitute workers were transported under heavy police guard from the hall where they were hired to a ‘ship hotel,’ makes its appearance during the longshoremen’s strike in San Francisco.”

    The ‘ship hotel’ was a ship tied up at the docks that housed the strikebreakers so they would not have to cross the picket line twice a day.

  4. The large panel delivery is the “Big Brother” (1- Ton to 1-1/2 Ton, Cap. ) to the Model “A” Ford (1/4 Ton Cap. ) Panel Delivery. It is a Model “A-A Ford 1931 Model, with 4-speed Warner transmission. Note the “ridge” on the Budd wheels, just outside the bolt circle ; a 1931-on improvement. The car in the foreground: A 1932 Ford, either: a Model B 4 cyl, or a V-8 (emblem not in sight) The trim on the 4-bangers was less fancy, but hard to determine in this photo. The dent on the R.F. fender = Something died! (One explanation).

  5. Hi Guys,

    I enjoyed these pics too.
    A couple of comments:
    1. David tells us right off about the identity of the front partial image vehicle in the first photo is a 1932 Ford. The easiest way to identify both the Model “B” (4 cyl) or Model “18” (V8) was it’s beautiful ripple multiple horizontal rows full width front bumper! Very distinctive. The headlights and mounting bar tie it all together stylistically. The V8 emblem for the “18” would have been mounted in the center of the headlamp mounting bar (out of sight here). Maybe this was the police car with the peppy (65HP Ford V8) at the inspection point!

    2. I am surprised that no one mentioned that the old Fageol open cab short bed truck tractor has what appears to be hard rubber tires on those big open spoke wheels. Wouldn’t this place it to be pre-1930 maybe as far back as 1920s or even earlier era? The early small balloon tires and wheels would not have been suitable for very heavy truck use problay until at least 1920s? The other stake bed truck to the right has “modern” baloon tires and smaller but wider metal wheels. It really looks great but still very “old timey” for 1934 with its open C-Cab and very heavy duty work look. Note the “SAFE MOVING” (as in floor safes) advertising on its lower front panel and its very low bed. I don’t imagine anyone was making truck mounted and powered lift platform/gates yet back then. You would have to call like G.W. Thomas Drayage & Rigging Co. SAFE MOVERS to deliver a big floor safe to the bank or office. Truck drivers using these ancient machines did not get a nice smooth ride on hard rubber tires. Just look at the straight upright steering wheels and crazy seats for the driver to “hang on” to muscle those old dogs around town.

  6. Hi again,

    I just spotted another Ford Model A (there on the far right of the pic of the two old heavy duty trucks). This Model A is only half visible (rear), but it is either a “Cabriolet” (convertible coupe) or the “Sport Coupe” (with rigid non-foldable top). Both had Landau Bars mounted on the sides of the top lower quarter (non functional on the Sport Coupe). Both models had roll-up side windows and full framed doors. All sport coupes had rumble seats. The rear window can be unzipped for opening to converse with the people riding in the rumble. It also has the step pad on the right rear fender top and a luggge rack on the back. This one probably has the front side mount for the spare tire(s) since none are mounted on the back. Both models are highly collectible in the vast world of Model A Fords these days. The rear bumper is split so it is not a ’32 sport coupe.

    I believe the second Model A Ford is the 5W coupe (1930?) in the upper left of the photo (parked across the street) . They were popular, weren’t they?

    I am not certain what make of medium size two door sedan is passing the left side of the old Fageol truck tractor. It has “suicide” doors and no windshield visor and the windshield is very much straight up with no slant back like some of the ’31 Ford As. Can anyone I.D. the car from the scant side profile? You can just barely make out the hood side by looking through the open cab of the Fageol truck tractor (I can’t see any louvers). The car is actually painted in three different colors (dark top and upper rear quarters, medium shade belt line front to rear, light shade door and body panels, and dark shade fenders). The wheels are metal spoked and the rear spare tire is quite narrow like a ’28-’29 Model A. So, what is it?

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