When the first rotisserie was used for supporting automobiles while working on them is not known, although by 1921, the Turn-Auto Corporation of New York City had perfected their version of the device and placed it on the market. It allowed for auto repairs to be performed quicker and easier than the traditional method of working from the underside of a vehicle.
To use the device, a car was first driven or pushed up a set of ramps onto the pair of parallel channel iron supports. Next, the vehicle was chained or tied down and then could be rotated up to one-hundred and eighty degrees by the use of a hand-cranked curved version of the rack and pinion gear set visible on the far left bottom of the image.
This particular Turn-Auto was used in a repair garage in one of the New York City boroughs before it ended up at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. An advertisement for the device in the May 12, 1921 issue of “Motor Age” can be seen under the enlargeable version of the lead image (below.)
Please share with us what you find of interest in the photograph of the Auto-Turn and a 1926 or ’27 Model “T” Ford roadster courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute.