15 thoughts on “SW 4th Avenue, circa 1939

  1. It looks like on top of the roof there in the distance is what appears to be part of a dust collection system. Usually these are used in some sort of manufacturing plant where there is a vacuum system that collects dust from machines say in wood shop for example and then blows the air and dust into what you see on the roof there and the dust hits metal vanes inside the tank and collects there and the air is blown out. Odd to see that on SW 4th.

  2. @Jim – I loaded the photo into a photo app and corrected the exposure. It’s not as dark a day as it looks in the above.

  3. @ Mike, that’s just an old water tower, they wouldn’t put a dust collection system on the roof because it needs to be emptied frequently. A water tower uses gravity to distribute the water. This is a horrible photograph, looks like it was taken with a Brownie Box camera.

  4. @Mike & Craig. I believe Mike is correct. It seems to be a dust collection apparatus albeit a temporary set up. Notice the exterior ducting. could be associated with a remodel. If a ongoing business on lower floors would be sensitive to dust this may offer a solution. Plaster demolition or wooden floor refinishing would raise that kind of dust problem.
    Craig’s remarks about the quality of this photo, or at the least the reproduction of it here are spot on.

  5. Love those old parking meters. And the Board of Trade Building may be the only survivor of this scene. Also love the traffic or maybe pedestrian cops on every corner. Looks like the traffic signs and pedestrian wait/walk signs may be newly installed. And nobody paying any attention. Everything old is new again!

  6. Mike
    I zoomed in with my IPad and it was a centrifugal device. We had the exact same thing on our farm hooked to a hammer mill for making feed for cows.
    Also saw many similar in feed mills around feed mills here.

  7. Definitely a cyclonic dust collector. Water tanks while similar, are somewhat different shape and need far more substantial support tower. Freaking huge too if it was intended as temporary for a remodeling or such. That giant duct on side of building too is odd. I wonder what was going on there to justify it?

  8. This maybe a little out there but do they ever use those cyclonic dust collectors in a clothing sweat shop where they are cutting a lot of material?

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