Saturday, July 30, 2016

1920 Fageol truck

We think this is San Francisco.

1 comment:

Steve Bogdan said...

This is indeed San Francisco - Fillmore Street between Vallejo (behind them to the north) and Broadway. In the 1920s a roughly five-square block section of the city was extremely popular with automotive photographers. Fillmore (the western boundary of the photogenic section), Webster, and Octavia Streets were used for steep hill shots, while Washington Street (the southern boundary), with its stately mansions, and Lafayette Park were used for glamour shots.

Six years after this photo was taken Paige lined up four of their latest hydraulic brake-equipped models at the same location, and in the same pose - right wheels on the cobblestones and left wheels resting on the northbound streetcar tracks. And yes, those are streetcar tracks even though they look like they are for cable cars. The two-block stretch of Fillmore from Green Street to Broadway is a 24 degree incline that the electric (the overhead wires are visible in the photo) streetcars could not conquer alone. The southbound car at Green, and the northbound car at Broadway would each grip an unpowered cable, and the uphill car (southbound) would use the downhill car as a counterbalance, becoming for that short stretch a car-powered funicular railroad.

For more information on the Fillmore Hill Counterbalance, and to see the photo of the Paige automobiles at the same location, search “Paiges on Parade” for the Shorpy node.