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Must Be Something in the Water: Bizzarre Automotive Attachments in Oregon

B-izarre: strikingly out of the ordinary: odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode: involving sensational contrasts or incongruities. We do believe that some of these definitions apply to the curious attachments on the vehicles contained in this set of photos taken in the Beaver State in the late-1910s and 1930s.

The 1936 Ford sedan delivery in the lead image belonged to the US Department of Agriculture Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. The clever bug catcher attached to the front bumper was kind of a supercharged version of a handheld sock attached to a stick used for catching insects. It leaves us to wonder how many bugs per gallon it was capable of catching.

This second set of photos leaves us to ponder what the individual who put a set of fixed wings on this late-teens Moon touring car in 1919 trying to achieve? If it was attracting attention we think he succeeded brilliantly, although if you check the last picture (below), in use his wings did not end all that well. We believe this gentleman was also trying to start a new fashion trend at the time, note the cutoff legs on his overalls over another set of pants.

Share with us what you find of interest in this set of photographs courtesy of the University of Oregon Libraries.



20 responses to “Must Be Something in the Water: Bizzarre Automotive Attachments in Oregon

  1. Seriously? Possibly a homemade hang glider launched from the Moon? Climb into the structure, have your driver run it up to fifty MPH or so, and lift off.

    As the pictures show, it did not end well.

  2. Hmm, and I thought the 1st picture was a megaphone of some kind. Whatever the purpose of the “wings” were, judging by the tangled mess he’s standing next to , it didn’t go well,,,

  3. Its just like that movie “Gizmo” which was a compilation of old film clips of crackpot airplane and car inventions from the 20s tthru the 1950s many of which are still used in TV commercials today to get a laugh.

  4. As an Oregonian since 1974 we take these things in stride. Possibly the wierdest is the amazing exploding whale. (Check out the You Tube video and watch a car and people dodging flying whale blubber.)

  5. This from my father, your grandfather would buy a new pair of overalls every year in the fall. He would wear the new under the old through the winter until spring, disguarding the old when it got to hot to wear both, the process would repeat when the leaves fell.

  6. Thinking the car was a platform to get the glider up to launch velocity. Looks like a small elevator mounted at the rear of the wooden construction. And the last picture shows it separated from the car. Back in the early 40’s my dad and friends used to tow their glider to launch with a cut down 31 Chevy.

  7. This may be pure speculation, but I think I have an answer for the cut off overalls. Years ago I was talking to my friend’s dad who was a logger. We all lived in Southern Oregon. He noticed I was wearing jeans cut off just above my boots. He asked if there was a reason I did that. I said I thought it looked cool. He then told me that loggers always cut their pants and overalls just above the boot because it got rid of the hem at the bottom. The reason was that while walking through brush or when sawing on a fallen tree sometimes a branch would grab the pant leg. Having no hem allowed the fabric to tear easily, instead of getting stuck and possibly tripping the logger.

    • I agree with DEVON, probably an insect or pollen catcher. An improvement over the ole “tongue and taste”field gathering method that nobody particularly liked for some reason.

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