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Thread: Vintage work crew photos

  1. #1651
    Supporting Member DIYSwede's Avatar
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    DIYSwede's Tools
    -I wonder how the hangover would be after a keg of "Electric Beer"?
    Guess I'd be grounded for a while...

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  3. #1652
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    That truck appears to be a CT electric probably a 1 ton or maybe a 1 1/2 ton
    A friend of mine owns one and it will be brought to me in the upcoming months to either store or hopefully we will go ahead and restore it
    here is his take on the history of the CT electric trucks ha has dome some extensive research on the matter

    20 CT Electric's were used during the night time hours from 1916 up into 1962 to haul 10 ton loads of paper and two hauled coal. Mine was number 14 and was used to haul coal. At least I believe so based on the piles of small coal chips found everywhere in the cab. This truck sat outside for too many years.
    Vintage work crew photos-b9333487-b7e6-4d25-870f-72c8.jpg
    The truck is powered by four 60V 200 AMP GE electric motors. One on each wheel. Each motor should produce 16 hp for a total of 64 hp. The truck is geared out to 12 MPH.


    It was purchased from the 3'rd (4th) owner, depending on how you want to count them. The first owner was the Curtis Publishing Company. The second was an individual who completed a two truck purchase from Curtis, numbers 14 and number 16. It was then sold to a gentleman who intended to restore it but passed away before any thing was done to it. One of his relatives inherited it and I purchased it from them. Or so I think. I also received the very first title the state of PA. issued to it.


    This is the truck when I picked it up. Everybody tells me its so ugly only a mother could love it so I guess I'm a SAP I think it looks neat. It's been called the vending machine!

    I found this interesting link to an engineering handbook from 1921 and it has a lot of information on electric vehicles prior to 1921. I purchased the book and I'm waiting on the mailman.

    I've decided, at least for now, that I'll preserve it rather than restore it. Its a unique piece of American history and I'd like to preserve that as it existed. My plans are to replace the wood bed around the edges. Red Oak 2" thick, that'll be needed to refasten the steel band that goes around the edge of the bed. Theres a 1/4 inch steel plate on top of it. Next I'm going to see what I can do to rejuvenate, rebuild or what ever is necessary to get the batteries back into working condition. The batteries have always been rebuilt vs replaced. Huge wooden battery boxes. Nine in all.

    I've removed the cab and I intend to set it up as a display on the back of the truck. It'll help show the changes the truck went through during it's life. Charlie Wacker designed the cab he was a long time ATHS member and has passed on. There is quite a bit in print about him and his family's truck body building business and I'll post what I can as I find it. Heres a little teaser,,



    Nice old truck. I couldn't help thinking of a long time ATHS member (who has since passed on) by the name of

    Charlie Wacker --he was a genuine character who was a "pistol" in his eighties -- I can't imagine how he was in his youth. Anyway, his grandfather started a body works near Philadelphia over a 100 years ago and Charlie worked there his whole life . What he didn't know about truck bodies, wasn't worth knowing. One of his pet peeves was restored trucks from the early part of the 20th century with finely finished wooden bodies, that is, the wood was stained and clear coated or varnished. Charlie ALWAYS pointed out that the bodies were NEVER done this way, but rather painted, as you have done. Charlie would have told you, "You done in right"

    One of the books I have tells this story, from "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks and Commercial Vehicles" by Albert Mroz.

    1907 -1928 _ The Commercial Truck Company of America was founded in 1907 in Philadelphia Pa. The vehicles were battery powered electric, although a few were gasoline-electric hybrids were also built by 1915. For 1908 the company advertised itself as the Commercial Truck Company, and showed a 35 passenger omnibus as well as a 30 passenger sight seeing coach. Already by late 1907 a 3-ton and a 5-ton chassis were available.


    Other early models consisted of a 1/2 -ton to 3 1/2-Ton capacity. The 1/2-ton delivery van sold for $2200. The larger models used General Electric motors geared to each rear dual-wheel. The 3 1/2 ton truck had a wheelbase of 114 -inches and weighed 10,000 lbs. Top speed was 7 MPH.

    By 1912 C.T. trucks were available in six different capacities from 1/4-ton to 5-ton. Worm-drive was adopted in 1913. The gasoline-electric hybrid tractor was introduced in 1915 and continued to be built but only for two years. A 6-ton model was added in 1921, and lighter models were improved. Most of the heavier models had four-wheel-drive with an electric motor mounted on each wheel.

    As an example C.T.electric trucks were successfully operated in Philadelphia by the Curtis Publishing Company. A fleet of 22 was used by the publisher of Jack and Jill, Holiday, Ladies Home Journal, and Saturday Evening Post. Two of the trucks were used exclusively to haul coal, while the other 20 delivered the periodicals throughout the city. Loaded with 10 tons of paper and traveling at 10 mph, they silently plied the streets in the early morning hours with nary a puff of exhaust. Curtis used the reliable C.T. fleet as late as 1962. By that time, the trucks were over 40 years old on the average. They still used the original 85 Volt 10 amp drive systems that consisted of an electric motor in each wheel.

    By 1928 C.T. offered 12 different models to chose from, but the diminishing market for slow electric trucks with a limited range forced C.T. to be acquired by the Walker Vehicle Company, an electric truck builder that lasted until 1942.



    I am completely amazed at the numbers of electric and hybrid trucks made before the 1930's. I have compiled a list of those who made electric commercial vehicles using just one source.

    A & B The American and British Manufacturing Co. (hybrids)
    ACF/ACF-Brill/Brill (Hybrids)
    Ahrens-Fox
    Ajax Electric
    American Electric
    American Lafrance (hybrids)
    Andover
    Anheuser-Busch
    Argo
    Asprooth-Leoni Electric
    Atlantic
    Auto-Car (not to be confused with Autocar)
    Autocar
    Automatic Electric
    Bailey Electric
    Baker
    Baker (2)
    Battronic
    Beardsley
    Blue Bird
    Borland
    Brecht
    Broc Electric
    Bronx
    Buffalo
    Buffalo Electric
    Caffrey Electric
    Calectric Delivery
    Cantono Electric
    Capitol
    Capitol (2)
    Carl
    Champion
    Champion (2)
    Champion Electric
    Chicago Electric
    Clinton E Woods Motor Vehicle Co.
    Collins
    Columbia
    Connersville
    Couple-Gear
    CT (Commercial Truck Co) (electric and hybrid)
    Custer Electric
    Dayton
    Detroit Electric
    Detroit Taxicab
    Dunlap
    Edison
    Eldridge (hybrid)
    Electric Vehicle
    Electrocar
    Electro-coach
    Electromobile
    Elwell-Parker
    Ewbank (hybrid)
    Fifth Avenue Coach
    Fisher (hybrid)
    Fritchle Electric
    Gas-Electric (hybrid)
    General Electric
    GMC
    Great Western (hybrid)
    Greene
    General Vehicle
    Hewitt-Lindstrom
    Hunter Electric
    Illinois Electric
    JactoJenkins
    Joliet
    Joly &Lambert
    Kelland
    Knickerbocker
    Lansden
    Lansing
    Leoni
    Loomis
    Milburn
    Morris & Salom
    Morrison
    M & P
    Munson (hybrid)
    Nordskog Electric
    OB
    Ohio Electric
    Oldsmobile (first electric vehicle built in 1887)
    Phipps- Grinnell
    Piercy (hybrid)
    Pittsburg
    Pope-Waverly
    Purity
    Quadray
    Quadru (hybrid)
    Rauch & Lang
    Riker
    Roland (hybrid)
    Sampson (Hybrid) (the Road Train an 18 wheeler in 1910)
    Standard (hybrid)
    Steinmetz Electric
    Storms
    Studebaker
    Synnestvedt
    Tek-Truk
    Thorne
    Turbine
    Universal Gas Electric (hybrid)
    Urban
    Van Auken
    VEC
    Versare
    Voltacar
    Wagenhals
    Walker
    Ward
    Washington
    Waverly
    Westcoaster
    Wood
    Woods
    So it appears there were many electric commercial vehicles built before 1930, Where did they end up?
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    12bolts (06-14-2020), Toolmaker51 (06-14-2020), volodar (07-19-2020)

  5. #1653
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    Thanks for that write up Frank. What type of batteries are in your truck?

    Cheers Phil

  6. #1654
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12bolts View Post
    Thanks for that write up Frank. What type of batteries are in your truck?

    Cheers Phil
    Its not my truck it belongs to my friend who owns the Prevost RV
    The batteries are the original Edison batteries and are over 100 years old out of the 9 batteries I think he said that at least 6 of them were still in rebuildable condition.
    they are nickel iron or Ni-FE the same type that were used in submarines for a long time.
    he had decided that after he sells his house in CT. he and his wife are thinking about picking out a spot in the North woods where I have a meadow like clearing pour a pad there and he and I will build a pole shed for them to park the Rv under for when they are not traveling playing merry campers
    I have done some preliminary research on the Edison batteries and believe that I can duplicate them if he decides to restore the CT rather than just preserve it This part of Texas is a whole lot better place to preserve than the salt humid air of Connecticut where it is currently located
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Frank, What a wonderful old truck! ...and another project one day, like you don't already have a long enough list! Cheers

    Jim

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    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beserkleyboy View Post
    Frank, What a wonderful old truck! ...and another project one day, like you don't already have a long enough list! Cheers

    Jim
    As if you don't realize, [which I already KNOW you do] endless streams of projects are what make us live; get up every morning and not bed down until tired. No alarms needed.

    By the way; I'm certain ATHS is the American Trucking Historical Society. I believe their office is in Kansas City near KC Int'l Airport. There is the nicest red and white day cab tractor parked out, easily visible from I-29 Freeway.
    Last edited by Toolmaker51; 06-14-2020 at 11:39 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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  11. #1657
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beserkleyboy View Post
    Frank, What a wonderful old truck! ...and another project one day, like you don't already have a long enough list! Cheers

    Jim
    the wood in it is Oak planking and it is a full 2 inches thick I have been buying my oak trailer flooring directly from a small saw mill company, he will slice it any thickness and widths I desire and at a lot lower price than I could buy even milled lumber from a specialty company. So I will order it cut 2 1/4" thick then plane to correct thickness and router the tongue and groves or step down lands as required to match original
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolmaker51 View Post
    As if you don't realize, [which I already KNOW you do] endless streams of projects are what make us live; get up every morning and not bed down until tired. No alarms needed.

    By the way; I'm certain ATHS is the American Trucking Historical Society. I believe their office is in Kansas City near KC Int'l Airport. There is the nicest red and white day cab tractor parked out, easily visible from I-29 Freeway.
    Yes that is what we laughingly call the big house. About 10 years ago me and the guy who owns the Ct electric were concerned about their lack of caring about the archived forum posts of their discussion forums so while I was in Kuwait and he being in CT. we set the electrons of the internet on fire for several weeks researching and retrieving data from 3 previous service providers that everyone thought had been lost or deleted we built a server and populated it with all of the lost data then sent it to the big house all while creating an online chapter of the ATHS. which after a few years was disbanded due to a then political atmosphere within the corp. I have retrieved and saved old data from a couple of engineering sites I used to frequent and several other discussion type forums I have participated in if I got wind of their eminent demise.
    I am really thankful here at HMT.net we have a stable platform with lots of daily growth. and the owners of this site has a love for what they do. because I doubt if I would have the energy to even attempt to try and do again what I took upon myself to do back then on other discussion forums I couldn't afford it anyway.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Supporting Member Ralphxyz's Avatar
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    Here is another article and picture of one of the trucks.

    Ralph

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    Supporting Member Hoosiersmoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolmaker51 View Post
    Get a load of the company logo on what is likely the battery compartment. Might have 7-8 letters! A good laugh, but not enough to decipher. Ralphxyz is probably right, they motorized or used design of a horse drawn chassis. Built for serious loads though, I see rivets, I-beam and channel, plenty of iron!
    I think it's just the letters of the Central Brewing Company. A large C a large B then a smaller Co.

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