11 thoughts on “SE 12th Avenue, circa 1942

  1. The fellow steading the fire hydrant during this welding operation ought to have had his eye protection covering his eyes a not on up his cap. Looks like a cozy rustic workspace, with something new every day.

  2. A wonderfully composed photo showing both intimacy and concentration. What must have been on their minds in the middle of the war.

  3. This is a classic blacksmith shop in a day when broken things were repaired rather than replaced. Note the forge and anvil to the right. The last working blacksmith shop I knew of closed in the mid ’50’s for lack of business. A friend’s father was a skilled blacksmith who could no longer find work in in his trade in the ’50’s and was reduced to being a burner (steel cutter) at Zidell’s ship breaking operation at the South Waterfront area.

    Note that all of the power equipment in the photo (grinder to the right of the workers, and the trip hammer to their left) are powered by belts driven from overhead shafts which were driven by a single electric motor. Electric motors were very expensive at the beginning of the 20th century, when this shop was likely established.

    There is a belt driven machine shop reproduction at Antique Heritage Museum in Brooks, OR

  4. Igor,
    That device is a 250# trip hammer for real heavy smithing. The hammer itself is the large rectangular object centered in the machine, both horizontally and vertically. The anvil is the smaller rectangular object on the surface under the hammer. The smithy places the work that is to be made longer and thinner (an operation called drawing) on the anvil and pushes down on that bar that surrounds the machine near the floor with their foot, causing the hammer to fall onto the work piece. Power from the belt drive system raises the hammer for the next blow. Note the triangular block of wood on the floor for the operator to rest their foot, while repeatedly dropping the hammer. This is a high energy event, and you have probably heard the term “drop the hammer” used today, although few probably appreciate its origin.

  5. I visited the DuPont Museum in Brandywine, PA about 30 years ago — where the gunpowder for the War of 1812 was made. The machine shop had lathes, drill presses, hammers, grinders, band saws, gear cutters — everything needed to repair their machinery, most circa 1850 — all belt-driven by an overhead drive axle turned by a waterwheel in a sluice from the Brandywine River.
    Whatever in the world did we do before Home Depot?

  6. i love old mechanical stuff pipes gears wheels machines ect… form the early industrial age cool old stuff

  7. Surely the single motor came less from the supply of electric motors as it did the tradition of having a water wheel or steam engine? Never mind all that high current over knob and tube…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s