Ever want to see how sausage is made? Well, okay – maybe not… but this interesting photo taken by Lewis Reed some 100 plus years ago allows you to see how 18 men managed to cram themselves into a 1910-1911 Pierce Arrow Model 48 7-Passenger Touring. Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company in Buffalo, New York, produced some of the finest automobiles made and was one of the most popular high-quality cars of the time.
Unfortunately, no other details about the the photograph or the location is known. If anyone can identify the building in the background, please leave me a comment.
Forget Valentine’s, Happy Ferris Wheel Day!
Did you know that February 14th is not only Valentine’s Day, but also Ferris Wheel Day? This unofficial national holiday is held on this day to honor the birth of the inventor of the Ferris Wheel, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. What better way to celebrate Ferris Wheel Day than enjoying this old photograph of the Ferris Wheel taken at the Rockville Fairgrounds, courtesy of Lewis Reed. The fairgrounds were just outside Rockville, about where Richard Montgomery High School is today. The Fair lasted four days, from August 21st to the 24th, and drew visitors from local counties, Washington, and Baltimore.
For the singles and the “enough already with the Valentines”, here is your perfect alternative excuse. Go wish all your friends and family a Happy Ferris Wheel Day!
This fascinating scene of hundreds of vintage cars parked in the Frederick Fair parking lot was taken by Lewis Reed.
The Frederick County Fair is one of the oldest agricultural fairs in the state of Maryland dating back to 1822 when it was known as the Cattle Show and Fair. Over the years the fair has changed names several times. Today, the Frederick County Fair is officially named the Great Frederick Fair. The GREAT Frederick Fair is celebrating 154 years in 2016 (Sept. 16-24).
This blog entry is posted today to commemorate the anniversary of the Montgomery County Police Department. It was 94 years ago on July 4, 1922 that the MCPD was first established. In those days, Montgomery County was farm country, sparsely populated, automobiles sharing dirt roads with horse-drawn wagons. But it was changing into a proper suburb, and there needed to be a police department.
Posing in front of Reed Brothers Dodge on July 4, 1922 Chief Charles Cooley, center, and his men of the first mounted unit of the Montgomery County Police Force, were on their first day of duty. (click image to enlarge)
The MCPD consisted of five officers and a Chief. Each of the officers was issued a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a .38 Smith & Wesson handgun, a black jack, law book and was allotted $300.00 a year for the upkeep of their motorcycle.
Looking back at photography from the past is a fascinating experience for me. Since I started this blog, I have had the opportunity to look through my grandfather’s extensive collection of photographs from locations all across the country. The majority of his photos are more than 100 years old and, unfortunately, are lacking labels and/or dates, which requires quite a bit of research and a little photo detective work on my part. Adding up the clues can help solve the mystery, date, and help identify the images. Google sometimes surprises me with its capabilities.
The below previously unpublished photos (dated 1909) from Lewis Reed’s album are what appears to be some of the early machines that helped build America. Steam traction engines, or steam rollers and road locomotives as they were sometimes called, were the predecessor to today’s modern farm tractor. They could plow, they could haul, and you could put a big belt on the fly wheel and drive a saw mill; whatever you wanted to do. They were also used as a transportable power source. The engines would normally run on coal, wood, or even straw, or whatever would build a fire. The photos shown here were dated 1909.
As a Michigan farm boy, Henry Ford recorded his first sight of a traction engine: “I remember that engine as though I had seen it only yesterday, for it was the first vehicle other than horse drawn that I had ever seen. It was intended to drive threshing machines and power sawmills and was simply a portable engine and a boiler mounted on wheels.” It was the steam traction engine that inspired Ford to design and manufacture automobiles.
A portable engine is a type of self-contained steam engine and boiler combination that may be moved from site to site. Although bearing a strong family resemblance, in both appearance and (stationary) operation, the portable engine is not classed as a traction engine as it is not self-propelled.
Steam Road Roller: This take-off of the steam traction engine was designed specifically for road building and flattening ground mimicking today’s modern rollers used for compacting road surfaces. A single, heavy roller replaced the front wheels and axle and a smoother rear wheels replaced larger wheels without strakes. (strake – name for the diagonal strips cast into or riveted onto the wheel rims to provide traction on unmade ground).
Photos cannot convey the raw power of a steam tractor: the way its pistons, valves, gears, and wheels are locked in constant motion. You really have to see this machinery in action.
Watch video of a 1916 Case steam engine tractor power a sawmill.