Massacre (photo)

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Tim Rogers
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Massacre (photo)

Post by Tim Rogers » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:46 am

pile.jpg
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jiminbartow
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by jiminbartow » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:57 am

Jeez! What I wouldn’t give to have that pile of 1920’s “junk” in my backyard. What fun it would be to invite a bunch of MTFCA members over to help me untangle it. Jim Patrick

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by WayneJ » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:23 am

In the 50's, when I was a child, we would pass junk yards with cars piled up like this while on road trips with my parents. On one such trip, my brother told my parents that they could just drop him off, and pick him up on the way back. It was a common enough site, that you wouldn't even think to take a photo. It is fun to see this photo, and the memories it brings back.
Wayne Jorgensen, Batavia, IL
1915 Runabout

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TWrenn
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by TWrenn » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:36 am

Absolutely sacraligious!! (sp?) So hard to believe so many cars would be trashed like that. Man, think of all the parts
we could be cannibalizing today!!


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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by John kuehn » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:42 am

Hope there wasn’t any 09 2 pedal T’s in that paticular
pile but there probably was in the next pile down the road!


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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by jiminbartow » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:04 am

America entered the Great War in 1917. Could this have been a circa 1917-‘18 steel drive for the war effort? The cars look too good to be junk. If this was the case, the cars were most likely donated by patriotic Americans. Horse and buggies were not all that far in the past, so many probably went back to this mode of transportation after giving up their cars until after the war. Jim Patrick

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by TWrenn » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:59 am

Good though Jim! I also noticed these cars sure did not look like junkers to me!
Still a shame, patriotism or not. High respect for those people if indeed that was the reason though.


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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by modernbeat » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:16 am

You can zoom in more on the photo at https://cdm16855.contentdm.oclc.org/dig ... en/id/2222

Caption says: Crane lifts car onto enormous pile of wrecked cars, mostly Model T vintage. Tires and parts missing from some cars, but most look whole and intact. Crane is run by Smith Brothers Truck Company of Los Angeles. Circa 1920.
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Rich Eagle » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:21 am

Thanks Jason. I had been straining my eye looking at the first version. I might spend hours looking at the detail.
Fabulous.
Rich
Notice the Tudor just right of center has a waterpump.
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by martinola » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:28 am

Could this be a photo from a rescue/clean up project? I do recall a photo or two of being posted here years ago from the St. Francis Dam disaster (1928?). This seems like about the same era...

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Tim Rogers » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:50 am

Click on photo for a closer look...
pile2.jpg
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by RxGPoblet » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:33 pm

I'd like about 6 months to look through that pile. Does anyone know what the car/truck is in the bottom right hand corner. Five spoke wheel caught my eye. Maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention but I don't recall seeing a five spoke wheel before.

Garland

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Rich Eagle » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:31 pm

There isn't enough for me to tell Garland. I know White, Pierce–Arrow, GMC, Mack and several others used those 5 spoke wheels. My guess would be a Republic.
I'll bet Charley can identify over half of this stuff.
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Quickm007 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:35 pm

Not only T's there, several other kind of car. We are able to see the gentlemen saying to his self what a mess.
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by WayneJ » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:50 pm

Looks like a "California" type top on a touring car towards the front of the pile.
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by HornsRus » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:56 pm

rich! i dont think it is a republic,the rad tank is not tall enough.or fined. i am working the rest.charley

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Susanne » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:04 pm

I can't say for sure, but it looks like the one above the 5 spoked wheel is a T with a clamshell rear end... :cry:

Of course, when this was taken, they were all just old junker scrap cars... nothing of value at the time, other than scrap value. It's no different than a pile of 1990's Pick-n-Pull rejects would be to us...

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Rich Eagle » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:32 pm

"They just made the one's left that much more valuable."
When did I do that?

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by HornsRus » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:46 pm

the car above the truck with the top up is a dodge.the one with the calf top looks like a buick, but the body looks like my page,i see 7 mod ts so far.charley

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by critterpainter » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:15 pm

So would the next step be to douse the pile with gas or diesel and toss in a match or 2?
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:17 pm

Picture was taken somewhat later than the "Great War". The coupe smack middle of the pile in this view is a '24/'25 model T. Just above it and to our left of it is a model T two door sedan (not offered until '23). Most of the cars appear to be newer than 1920, and near '24 or '25. I'll bet several of those cars would be well worth restoring today if they could be had in that condition.
Fun to dream! (And heaven knows what could be hiding inside that ?!)

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Mark Gregush » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:25 pm

When did Ford do the trade in/scrap thing?
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Rich Bingham » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:45 pm

My thoughts as well, Wayne. I have never heard there were scrap drives during WW I. If there were, it would be nice if a knowledgeable historian among us would provide some details.

Regarding automobile wrecking yards, among my recollections is a pleasant conversation with a gent who ran a large one in Pocatello, Idaho, proximate to the railroad yards. From that strategic position, during WW II, he found himself in charge of managing the mandated scrap drives for the war effort. Patriotic citizens would bring their “junk” to the yard for processing into scrap and shipment. According to him, many brass era cars were regularly hauled in from the four corners of southeast Idaho in varying states of decrepitude, most of them would have been considered very restorable by today’s standards. He told me occasionally an especially remarkable example would arrive which would sorely tempt him to rescue it, but he was bound by honor and his contractual obligation to render all items being collected for scrap. Including the Apperson Jackrabbit the owner drive into the yard to be sacrificed.

Back to the massacre photo, I’d be surprised if the date it was taken is any earlier than 1932 or even much later. It was not unusual for wrecking yards to rank hulks by make and year, then do away with the lot when demand for spare parts dropped off.
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by John kuehn » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:54 pm

Looking close you can see the demountable rims and tires were removed from the cars. Most of the spoke wheels look to be in good shape too. Interesting.

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by WayneJ » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:45 pm

Time wise, it could have been a WWII scrap drive. A 1925 auto would have been 17 years old in 1942. It would also explain why the tires were removed as new tires were very difficult to obtain by civilians in WWII. My grandfather's first car was a used 1926 Studebaker touring car. It was still a good running car when he upgraded to a used enclosed 1932 Studebaker. The 1926 Studebaker went to the junk man, even though it was still a good running car. No one wanted an open car in Iron Mountain MI winters anymore.
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Benp » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:04 am

modernbeat wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:16 am
You can zoom in more on the photo at https://cdm16855.contentdm.oclc.org/dig ... en/id/2222

Caption says: Crane lifts car onto enormous pile of wrecked cars, mostly Model T vintage. Tires and parts missing from some cars, but most look whole and intact. Crane is run by Smith Brothers Truck Company of Los Angeles. Circa 1920.
Now still a lot of speculation when the question of date was answered 18 posts back....
If anyone still doubts the recorded 1920 date (NOT WWI - or II) take that up with the CSUDH Archives Office.
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Benp » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:52 am

Ah, just re-read my prior response and realized it could sound rude — didn’t intend it to be.
We are right to question everything we read, however, looking at all the cars visible in the photo I trust the given date. There are a lot of non-Ford cars in that terrible pile, and if, for example, any one of them had front wheel brakes I’d question that date. There aren’t, so I don’t.
Now as for WWII ‘scrap drives’, I have agree with old Henry Ford there — “History (as written) is largely bunk”. Yes there were ‘scrap drives’, but what was going on there was: 16 million American boys were serving in the armed forces, thus FDR had on his hands the issue of 32 million WORRIED parents (and how many grandparents?), and of course a country that had to remain productive. He had to give them something to do - something to give them some kind of feeling of control - something they could contribute - something to feel they could personally affect the outcome. The scrap drives, the ‘victory gardens’, etc. did just that.
Were there scrap drives? Yes. Were cars recycled into war machines? Ah, not too many. There are far more Packard engine blocks entombed in the bottom of Michigan gravel pits and buried in the Great Lakes than ever ended up part of any war machine.
Before he turned 18 and was drafted in 1944, my grandfather and his brothers were hired by a Lansing MI car dealer appointed to oversee the local drive. Their job? To push the cars into exhausted gravel pits. He said they all ran and they’d just run em right into the pit - gas and all - bailing-out at the last possible moment. Near spring, great numbers would also be taken out on the frozen Great Lakes just before thaw. (I said hired - actually I think they got a bottle of Coke. But they enjoyed themselves thoroughly and he later wondered how they didn’t end up killing themselves.)
They DID remove the rubber tires though - that was real.
The scrap drives have turned into the biggest, most over-hyped myth of that whole damned war. Their purpose, their effectiveness though — that was real.
Very interesting picture, thanks for sharing it (even though it made me cringe just like my grandfather’s gravel pit story always did). Wow.

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Mark Nunn » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:29 am

I don't trust the 1920 date either. The source lists the date as "ca. 1920". The "ca." is an abbreviation of "circa", which means approximately. Those who dated the photo have no idea of the real date.


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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by John kuehn » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:41 am

It’s another way of saying ‘around 1920’ as far as the date. The Touring car that’s in the middle front looks in pretty good shape other than the tare on the top that was probably put there by the crane.
And if it was a junk yard shot the junk yard type of cars wouldn’t be in that good of shape theses see to be.
But that’s my opinion.

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by thom » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:46 am

depressing photo.


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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Benp » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:36 pm

I would agree the use of “ca.” got me to question the date as well, however, as nothing in the photo appears newer than that I see nothing to pin the date anywhere near +1941.
Also, there’s an awful lot of rubber on a lot of wheels - that also tells me it’s nowhere near the WWII when that was in extreme demand and methodically recycled.
Can’t find it today, but I used to have a 1922 photo of a Ford dealer in Detroit burning used cars on a closed off city street to destroy the glut of ‘used cars’ which were hurting new car sales.
Did find the below blurb in Google books from an economics book, “New Deals: Business, Labor, and Politics in America, 1920-1935” which describes different Ford and GM schemes attempting to get control of the ‘used car problem’.
That is what came to my mind. Looks like a disposal operation - not salvage.
https://books.google.com/books/about/Ne ... SxRJEefb8C
Also wouldn’t put it anywhere near 1930 - as by then salvage operations had become pretty established and sophisticated — going so far as to reduce the wheels down to components:

http://theoldmotor.com/?p=151140
I really would place the date no later than the very early 1920’s.
(Enough from me - almost unbearably depressing.)
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by ModelT46 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:24 pm

such piles were common to large scrap yards. I remember seeing such a pile, not as big, at Northern Autombile Salvage Yard in Minneapolis about 1950 before I went in the army or 1953 when I rerturned. On top of the pile was a real nice 1923-24 Modelt T touring. In 1954 at the junk yard in Sandstone, Mn was a big pile of auto engines. Many were Model T Ford engines. I asked him about a non running 1932 Ford 2dr I has stored on my uncles farm at Nickerson. He said he might give $25 for it. I sold it for $50 to someone else. At that time I had a unrestored 1932 B400. Sold that to the Harrah collection in 1956.


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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by 67pontiac » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:31 pm

I didn't read all the texts, but as to the make of the two trucks in the picture. The truck on the left, (with the crane), is a Fageol. That's the only make with a hood of that design, note the large louvers on the top of the hood. (They also made tractors with the same style hood). The one on the right is a model AB Mack. The model AB's were made at the same time as the model AC's, (commonly referred to as "Bulldog Macks"). The model AB's used the conventional radiator in front of the engine design. Neat picture!!

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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Rich Eagle » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:48 pm

Nice info William.
Thanks
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Re: Massacre (photo)

Post by Don Lyon » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:33 pm

I think I see the car I bought on the bottom of the pile. Don
been there, broke that

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