The 2016 New England Antique Radio Club Swap Meet

If you have visited this blog in the past you are well aware that I am a dedicated radio collector. A better description might be radio accumulator. A collector is very discriminating. He or she specializes in certain styles or eras. The collector usually only buys items that are in the best possible condition. If something is broken or otherwise not in near perfect condition he repairs and restores it. My collecting interests are all over the place: communication radios, 1920’s  TRF’s, cute little Bakelite tabletops, cathedrals, portables, and incredibly large consoles of all sorts. Although I am getting a bit more selective these days it is due more to a lack of space rather than a maturing of my collecting interest. I haven’t stopped buying radios yet. I just do it less often.

My primary sources for old radios are three:

(1) The Eastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Association (ECARA)  annual flea market held in Dayville, CT,(2) The New England Antique Radio Club (NEARC) annual swap meet, and (rarely) (3) eBay. ECARA has not happened yet this year (9 days to go and counting). eBay is a constant source of temptation. I recently bought a RCA Radiola 16 through eBay. It looks pretty good with all of its globe tubes present but unfortunately only two work. The cabinet will need to be refinished. I have not tested the audio transformers yet. I hope they are good!

I have not been to the NEARC meet for some 5 years or so. It is a long drive (1-3/4 hours) and since my partner in crime, Ken Franklin, moved away I have nobody to share the  ride with. This year I finally decided to attend once more.

TNEARC Buyer Badgehe event is held at the Westford Regency Inn in Westford, Massachusetts. There is plenty of parking but you need to get there early if you want to be anywhere near the end of the sprawling complex that houses the swap meet. This year I arrived at exactly 8:00 am just as the doors opened. Stand in line, pay your $10 and put this sticker on your jacket, that’s the drill. If you frequently enter and leave the exhibit room (the size of a basketball court) you will need that sticker or the guards will not let you pass. I anticipated several trips to the truck since the stuff I usually buy is quite heavy and it takes a few trips to get it all loaded. It was not so bad negotiating the aisles between vendor tables at first but things picked up quickly within the first hour. This is a very crowded event! I walk the periphery of the meeting room first and then continue with an aisle by aisle search.

Right off I found a book I was looking for. It is a history of E. H. Scott Radio. Books and other kinds of radio ephemera are a big deal for me. I love looking through the old stuff, especially the brilliant engravings from the 1920’s and earlier. I did not see any old written material that was of interest at this particular flea market; but, I did see several radios.

This is the Crosley model 5-38. Five tubes and $38. Crosley was known for making radios affordable for everyone. Maybe a little cleaning, Old English and lemon oil will be enough to make hide the scratches.

This is the Crosley model 5-38. Five tubes and $38. Crosley was known for making radios affordable for everyone. Maybe a little cleaning, Old English and lemon oil will be enough to hide the scratches.

The first one I noticed was a Crosley 5-38. It’s an old wooden slant top battery radio from 1926. It had five UX201A Globe tubes with it. The seller claimed that they were all good and that the two audio transformers were also good. I made the deal for $60. If the tubes are good (I have not checked yet) they are worth at least $15 each. What are my chances? This Crosley is a Tuned Radio Frequency (TRF) radio that also has a feedback amplification stage, otherwise known as regeneration. That means it combines two different styles of amplification and tuning. The three TRF stages all have their own separate dials. I’ll try to update this post in the future when I get a chance to inspect this radio properly. For now I know that it is a good-looking radio that just needs a bit of cleaning and polishing to make it look almost new. Then I have to build the power supply kit that I have in the closet and I will be ready for the big test.

That little Crosley weighs just about 6 pounds. The light weight is partly due to the fact that it does not have a power supply. The next radio that intrigued me, a Kolster K-21, was also a TRF (Tuned Radio Frequency) radio but it was much more advanced than the Crosley. The Kolster is set into a cabinet made of wood with a metal frame. The top is hinged and lifts up for access to the 8 tubes within. Although the Kolster is also a three-stage TRF it has just one dial to turn all three tuning capacitors. This is because they are ganged together and thus rotate in unison. This 1928 radio also has its own internal power supply that provides all the required voltages by routing the AC wall current through a transformer which is tapped for the various voltages. The tubes are also specific to AC power. They were designed to help eliminate the 60 Hz hum that AC creates. Weight? It has to be between 60 and 80 pounds. I had to rest this one on my knee several times while carrying it out to the truck. I could almost see the headline in the Monday newspaper: “RI Man has Fatal Heart Attack while carrying 1928 Radio”. The shape of the radio and the way the top is hinged has led to this style being called “coffin radios”. Fortunately I did not collapse while carrying the coffin radio. Look closely at the intricate detail on the cabinet. This thing is a work of art! And do you see those feet? It has four real feet with little toes sticking out. They are made of brass. All this for a mere $25!

After walking around the room twice I decided to slow down and look more closely. There must be a few more inexpensive but desirable radios that I missed. Then I spotted a bathtub radio. All metal with a metal top. Take the top off and you have a bathtub. Of course that is not what it was called. It was an Atwater Kent Model 40. I already had a working Model 44 at home. The 44 and the 40 look very similar but the 40 is only about two-thirds as long as the 44. This one was in pristine condition. It had a mostly brown crackle case with a green panel on top. In the middle of the green top panel is a huge gold emblem. The inside was especially clean and all 7 tubes were present. The sign on the radio said “restored”. That was a switch. The price for this beautiful AC gem? A mere $25! I took it right away. Off to the truck again. This time the total weight was only about 35 pounds.

By now I pretty much had my fill of old radios. I was beginning to think about where I was going to put all of them. That’s when I came to the table that had some radios with the word “Free” written on their tags. I could handle that! The vendor had two 1940’s Motorola police squad car transmitters (model T69-20A), or that’s what it looked like. I have since inspected them more closely and I believe that one box is the transmitter and the other is the power supply. I like old cars. I’m even in an old car club. These were the perfect item for a radio-collecting car nut. I might even use them as props for an upcoming presentation on radio collecting that I will be giving to the car club (the Westerly Pawcatuck Region AACA). Oh, when boxed they weighed about 50 pounds. The final trip to the truck almost did me in.

Note: All of the above photographs can be clicked on to see an enlarged version.

References:

Geoff Fors, WB6NVH has a nice website that discusses Motorola transmitters and receivers used by the California Highway Patrol.

Nostalgia Air circuit data for the Crosley 5-38

Nostalgia Air circuit data for the Kolster K-21

Google Books excerpt from Crosley section of Alan Douglas book.

KD6FW/R discussing the speaker that goes with Kolster K-21

Atwater Kent Model 40 in action at a site dedicated to AK radios.

 

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Fig Squares, The Quick and Easy Kind

I’ve always liked fig squares. They usually consist of two layers of semi-flaky pastry with a sweet fig filling. Some have just a taste of fig and with others the stuff is oozing out. Either way, I can’t resist eating more of them than I should. When I was a kid we used to get them at Kennedy’s Bakery right at the top of our street. That’s when fresh doughnuts were 7 cents each and a half-dozen of iced cinnamon rolls were about 50 cents. My brother and I would hang out at the open back door of the bakery on summer mornings and just watch and smell as the baker performed his magic.

About 12 years ago I came across an after-Christmas bargain in my local grocery. They had trays of figs that were marked down to about $1 or less per package. A pack usually is about 9-15 ounces in weight. It consists of about 20 figs wrapped up in a tight circle. Well, I bought a bunch of them and delivered them to my dad who was retired and looking for something to do. He took those figs and changed them into fig squares and then delivered them to family members including me. They were great! He had learned how to make traditional flaky pastry crust that was perfectly tasty.

My dad has been gone about 9 years now and good fig squares are difficult to come by. The local grocery and bakeries sometimes have them but I really think the average $2 per square is a bit pricey. I decided to be on the lookout for some post-Christmas figs and luckily I found some for only $1.50 per bunch at my local Ocean State Job Lot store. I got the very vague recipe from my mom (now 92 years old) and tried my hand at making those delicious fig squares. The result was well worth the work. They are every bit as good as the store-bought ones. So far I have tried two batches. The first time my wife bought me some frozen flaky pastry. I was able to make about half a pan of very thick squares with that. I believe she paid about $4 for the pastry. For my next try I just made two regular pie crusts using the old Crisco recipe. The result was not as neat but tasted just as good. I did not try to make correct flaky pastry (cold butter chopped into pastry, etc.) because I wanted to do something easy. Cooking is not a hobby with me. It is a means to an end.

I have presented here my recipe (based on dad’s). The primary options are what you use for the pastry. I prefer the pie crust. It’s easy and inexpensive.


Quick and Easy Fig squares

Prepare the Filling
Cut off and discard stems of figs from two circular bunches of figs.
Place figs in small pan and cover with water.
Add 1 half cup of sugar for each 9-14 oz bunch / package of figs that you use. So, one cup of sugar for two bunches.
Boil for 12 minutes then put figs through
a grinder (reserve liquid in pan).
To the water that is left in pan, add two
tablespoons of corn starch and heat.
Remove from heat when it boils.
Mix with figs.
Prepare the Pastry
Make two ordinary pie crusts, one for the top and one for the bottom. Crisco© recipe works well.
Roll the pie crusts as thin as possible. You may have to patch together rectangular pieces to cover the pan.
These will easily cover a 15” x 10” baking sheet.
(Alternate Methods: purchase a frozen pastry or make flaky pastry from scratch)
Final Steps
Line the baking sheet with the pastry (pie crust)
Spoon on the filling. Use the amount you want. If you spread it a little thin you will get at   least two full baking sheets. If you put it on very thick you may get one sheet.
Cover the filling with the top crust and seal the edges.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Check often. Remove early if necessary. A very light brown color indicates doneness.
Cut into squares of the size you like best.


 

Here are a few photographs of the process:

If you try these let me know how they came out. If you have suggestions or comments you can use the form that follows this blog to submit them.

Two last items: I lined the baking tray with parchment paper for the first batch. I did not use the paper or any lard for the second batch. Neither stuck to the pan. That could be because I used too much Crisco in my recipe.  Also, I recommend you refrigerate the squares for several hours before eating. They are much better when fully cooled.

 

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A Short Winter Walk

Yesterday I experienced a sudden moment of health consciousness. I’m overweight and under-exercised. I find every excuse in the book to remain at home and do ‘inside things’. Instead of going outside I worked on an upcoming blog series and tinkered around with a 1948 Ford radio that I am trying to resurrect for a friend. My intelligent and beautiful wife went off to the gym. I should have followed but did not. Then the weather changed. It shot up to 55 degrees yesterday. That’s rather warm for a winter day in New England.What to do next? Hang around and finish off the M&M’s?

I made the decision in a flash. Take a walk! I quickly suited up (hoodie covered by a light jacket), attached a cell phone to my belt and put a camera in my pocket. The note I left on the counter for my wife said “I went for a walk. I have my phone. Love, Ken”. The Boy Scouts taught me well: “Always register with the mountain trail rescue staff before taking a hike.” Okay, so it was just going to be a two-mile round trip on level country roads; at my age you don’t take chances.

My biggest problem with exercise is that I get bored easily. Every walk has to be in a different direction. I need to liven things up with a new GPS program, an active search for old hubcaps, or taking photographs. The camera was good enough for this short outing. I present here a few of the photos I took. You will notice that our neighborhood is a bit scruffy during the winter. There is an excess of gray dirt, gray trees, dull mailboxes, and invading bull briers. Thankfully the groundhog did not see his shadow today so that means we can expect an early spring.

One of our neighbors keeps Highland Cattle. They like to stare at me. Although they are said to be gentle beasts, I am grateful for the fence that contains them.

One of our neighbors keeps Highland Cattle. They like to stare at me. Although they are said to be gentle beasts, I am grateful for the fence that contains them. They are beautiful animals. I usually stand for several minutes staring back at them. Clicking on the photo will bring you to a site dedicated to people who enjoy raising these imports form Scotland.

 

Do they have Bop the Mailbox competitions where you live? It's a great sport that is practiced primarily by teenagers who have about as much imagination, creativity, and pride as an old bottle cap. Some people repair the mailbox after it has suffered one or two rounds of match play. Others don't.

Do they have Bop the Mailbox competitions where you live? It’s a great sport that is practiced primarily by teenagers who have about as much imagination, creativity, and pride as an old bottle cap. Some people repair the mailbox after it has suffered one or two rounds of match play. Others don’t.

I think this tree is making a plea to heaven: "Please take me to the great forest in the sky." It's limbs have been rotting and falling for decades, cuttings of hurricane-damaged saplings surround it and the brambles are closing in.

I think this tree is making a plea to heaven: “Please take me to the great forest in the sky.” It’s limbs have been rotting and falling for decades, cuttings of hurricane-damaged saplings surround it and the brambles are closing in.

Our town, like many in New England, used to have a couple town pounds. It usually consisted of an enclosure with a brook running through it. Stray domestic animals were kept there until the owners paid a fee and picked them up. These granite posts would have supported an iron gate at one time. If this was on my property I would clean out all the bull briers and small trees. History should not be neglected.

Our town, like many in New England, used to have a couple of town pounds. They usually consisted of an enclosure with a brook running through them. Stray domestic animals were kept there until the owners paid a fee and picked them up. These granite posts would have supported an iron gate at one time. If this was on my property I would clean out all the bull briers and small trees. History should not be neglected.

There are several plants species represented in this fall debris but oak is the dominant one. I look down a lot because that is where you find all the neat things like old signs, broken telephones, and hubcaps. I really should take a garbage bag with me next time. It would be a cinch to fill it with Budweiser cans and those small liquor bottles they used to serve on airplanes.

There are several plants species represented in this fall debris but oak is the dominant one. I look down a lot because that is where you find all the neat things like old signs, broken telephones, and hubcaps. I really should take a garbage bag with me next time. It would be a cinch to fill it with Budweiser cans and those small liquor bottles they used to serve on airplanes.

After walking about a mile (and removing my jacket and hoodie - it was getting hot) I passed by my cattle friends again. This time one of them began to approach the fence. This is as close as he would go, though. They have incredible curiosity. Are all cattle like this or just these shaggy mountain dwellers?

After walking about a mile (and removing my jacket and hoodie – it was getting hot) I passed by my cattle friends again. This time one of them began to approach the fence. This is as close as he would go, though. They have incredible curiosity. Are all cattle like this or just these shaggy mountain dwellers?

Many years ago I subscribed to the Providence Journal Bulletin, the only RI newspaper that is not a one-community paper. They used to pile up inside my home because I never seemed to have enough time to read them. These days I get most of my news from the radio, TV, and Internet. A newspaper is better but I know what would happen to it if I subscribed again. Apparently these people are on vacation or they don't read as much as they think they do.

Many years ago I subscribed to the Providence Journal Bulletin, the only RI newspaper that is not a one-community paper. They used to pile up inside my home because I never seemed to have enough time to read them. These days I get most of my news from the radio, TV, and Internet. A newspaper is better but I know what would happen to it if I subscribed again. Apparently these people are on vacation or they don’t read as much as they think they do.

Flowers that bloom in the winter. You should see the other side. It's even more colorful. This family keeps a nice place and reminds us that spring is coming. Their newspaper goes in the red box.

Flowers that bloom in the winter. You should see the other side. It’s even more colorful. This family keeps a nice place and reminds us that spring is coming. Their newspaper goes in the red box.

So, are you inspired to take a walk in your neighborhood now? Take your camera. The photos are waiting for you to take them.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Nature: Plants and Animals, Backyard, Woods, and River, Occasional Commentary | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Plumbing Penance

 

This past Tuesday night my friend and neighbor Ed informed me by email that he had a bit of a computer problem that might need fixing. I gave him some suggestions and indicated that I might see him the following day if he still needed help. Unfortunately I ended up Wednesday by returning home late in the day and a bit exhausted. I wrote a followup email to Ed to explain where I was all day. If you dislike plumbing, please read the email message I have copied below.


 

Ed,

How did your day work out? I’m sorry I wasn’t around to help you
with that computer problem. My day did not follow the plan I had
worked out. Let me explain.

I left home at 7:05 am and got back at about 4 pm.
I went to mom’s after breakfast at McDonald’s with the guys.
I found her still in bed at 9:30.
She felt warm so I figured she was alive (you have to do that stuff when someone is 92).

She woke up after a little while and told me about how
sick she was the previous day. I gave her the scheduled vitamin shot (1 ml every 6 weeks)
and then went to the kitchen to wash dishes. This is when I noticed the faucet had
no handle (reminds me of an old Bob Dylan ballad).

“Oh yeah” says mom, “I have to walk to the bathroom to get
water to wash the dishes.” So I ask her how long has it been like this.
“Since the weekend, I think” says she. Well you need a new
faucet set. “I know that” she returns, “Andrew is going to get one
for me”.
I decide to call Andrew to determine whether or not he has
acquired the sink faucet set. “It’s on the floor next to the china
cabinet in the dining room” Andrew informs me. “I was going to put it in
as soon as I felt better. Got a serious case of the runs, you know.
Even the dog is sick.” I see a pattern emerging here.

So what to do? I called my friend Lee and informed him that I would
not be able to meet him today. I was having a plumbing crisis. He
offered to loan me some tools but I declined. I had to go home
and get all my special gear.

So off to Hope Valley I go at warp speed. I return to Warwick in no
less than 100 minutes laden with every tool and light source
known to modern man. I also drag along my wife who is seriously
concerned about a maniac errant son driving with wild abandonment
on the slightly icy roads of Middle RI.

Of course my mom has already requested that I return with a loaf
of cinnamon swirl bread without the raisins. She used to put raisins in
everything she cooked, including meatballs. That was to make my
dad happy. Now he’s gone so damned the raisins. I said damned the cinnamon
swirl bread until we get the sink fixed.

So we arrive. I carry in my tools that are cradled in a cardboard Narragansett beer
flat, the best toolbox I had on hand. Camille goes into the dining room to
converse with my mother (bless her heart; Camille’s, not mom’s) so
I can tinker, throw things about and curse willy-nilly to my heart’s desire.
It’s the only way I know to do plumbing.

What does it take to install a kitchen sink faucet? This box of goodies just about covers it. Someday I'll turn in the Narragansett Beer box for something more sturdy. For now, it does a nice job.

What does it take to install a kitchen sink faucet? This box of goodies just about covers it. Someday I’ll turn in the Narragansett Beer box for something more sturdy. For now, it does a nice job.

Step one was to remove all four mousetraps from under sink. Two were sprung and contained no bait. One was primed and went off when my screwdriver touched it.
Number four had a mighty well-dead mouse attached. Lucky me.
Now the fun part of the day (and I thought the 15 mph first drive up on route 95 couldn’t be beat) began. The old faucet set was held on by this really big fitting that would not budge. So I just started ripping stuff out. I severed the old spray hose with some sharp scissors mom had on hand (the only tool of any value in the house; even her
flashlight didn’t work … it was full of water). Then I proceeded to undo the two nuts
that seemed to be holding the faucet stem in place. Have you ever tried to use
an 8-inch wrench in a 3-inch space? After a liberal dose of the F-word and much
twisting and bending of my back (not to mention the drop light that decided to drop
in my face and the spanner that missed my head by an inch) I finally pulled
the sucker off. The actual install of the faucet was a piece of cake, almost. If you
think using an 8-inch wrench in a 3-inch space is frustrating, how about using
two at a time? Yup, that’s how you tighten the supply nut without twisting
off the faucet nuts (both cold and hot). Did I already mention falling wrenches,
raining rust flakes, and dripping supplies? I swear, all plumbers must go straight
to heaven when they die. No waiting in line for those guys. They already spent
a lifetime in purgatory.

Finally the faucet is working. The only leak (very slight) is the shutoff valve. I don’t do those.
Besides, if I fixed that what would the mice think? So my wife and I make a quick run
to the store for cinnamon swirl bread without raisins ( any brand will do, just no raisins if you please) and a fresh pink bottle of Pepto-Bismol© so as to replenish mom’s recently
exhausted supply. Job done. Goods delivered. Bye mom! “You can’t leave yet” says mom. “Watch me” my face responds. You have to replace the bulbs in the dining room
lamp. I do this with great reluctance (plumbing brings out the worst in me).

My wife and I finally leave. “I would have stayed home if I knew it would take this long” she huffs.
“Wait!. Do you know what day it is? It’s Wiener Wednesday!” I say. That did it.
We set a path for Kingston Pizza down in Peacedale. When we enter the store I immediately ask the friendly lady behind the counter “Is today Wiener Wednesday?”
“All day, honey” she responds. And the guy eating alone in one of the booths
chimes in “That’s what I ask her every Wednesday too.” So five wieners, one large fry, a six-pack of Gansett and 20 minutes later we are back home eating our 4:00 pm lunch/supper.
That was an unexpected day.

Ken

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Puttering Around with the Buick

Lately I have been spending more time working on the Buick. The car is about to turn 75 years old. It’s about time I paid more attention to it.

I’ve joined the Antique Automobile Club of America and the local affiliate, the Westerly-Pawcatuck Region of the AACA. I bring the car to at least one cruise night per week and even attended one show with it. Next week I will join a caravan of antique cars that will travel from Westerly, RI to the Washington County Fair in Richmond, RI. Our cars will be one of the many attractions at this annual event.

Little fixes are the order of the day for me. I was returning from a Friday night cruise when my neighbor passed by in his red 1932 Ford hot rod. He gave me a toot and a wave. I returned the wave but there was no toot. The horn had suddenly failed again. In the past I did a total rebuild of the interior horn button insulator. It had broken into about 5 separate chunks of plastic. I got them all back together with epoxy, adjusted the horn ring, and made a test. The horn worked.

The horn relay is the little box at the top. It will be painted soon. The wiring harness is a mess as you can see.

The horn relay is the little box at the top. It will be painted soon. The wiring harness is a mess as you can see.

What could be the problem now? After a little poking around I decided that the root cause might well be the horn relay. I took the relay apart and measured all clearances and cleaned all contacts. I also firmed up one of the three wires (the S or switch wire) that was badly frayed. Now I have a well-functioning horn.

I’m still trying to remove the hood vent so I can replace its gasket. I just get tired and discouraged when lying upside down under the dash with my legs  over the back of the front seat. There is only so much pain you can take at 65 years old. I’ll get back to that one. Then there are the inoperable door jamb light switches. I inspected them and found that they are not original but newer switches that have been soldered in place. They don’t fit correctly, have come loose, and don’t work. I am still tracing the circuit for the interior and back end of the car. When I have this done I will place an order for the required parts.

One other small item that has been pestering me is the sun visors. They needed to be tightened. Also each one has a small vinyl finger grip that had come loose on one side. The stitching came loose and so the grip material just dangled. I decided to fix this with fabric glue. It worked well. You would have to look real close to notice that there are no threads holding it together.

Then there are the instruments. Most of them don’t work and the wiring is in really bad shape. All of the cotton braid coverings are frayed and faded.

Hopefully I can remove just this instrument panel so I can replace it with a better one I have. I also need to refresh the wiring behind it. Not all the gauges work.

Hopefully I can remove just this instrument panel so I can replace it with a better one I have. I also need to refresh the wiring behind it. Not all the gauges work.

Short circuits abound. Sensors no longer sense. I have to figure out how to remove the instrument panel without taking the entire dash out. If I can do that I may be encouraged to purchase a new wiring harness. The neat thing is that the harnesses are made at Narragansett Reproductions in Richmond, RI adjacent to my hometown of Hopkinton. Narragansett Reproductions is just minutes down the road and they have everything I need. The price is fair but I am not going to make a purchase until I am sure that I will follow through with the installation. (see above discussion).

I did some experimentation with hubcaps. The Buick hubcaps for 1941 have ‘BUICK’ stamped across them. Each letter is filled in with black paint. Most of my black paint is missing. I masked off the letters on one hubcap and managed to do a decent job of spraying the letters. I also experimented on a 1953 Buick hubcap. My son gave me a full set. They are nicely chromed. Originally they also had black, red, and blue paint on them. This particular hubcap was found only on the Special with the straight eight, the very last car to have that engine. All other models had the new V8.

Then there is the trunk. I have been working on that for a while. I was able to purchase several missing items through eBay auctions. These include: spare tire hold-down clamp, spare tire wing nut, and the spare tire wheel cover. The wheel cover is a special one. It does not have BUICK impressed on it. The cover is perfectly smooth. It’s only purpose was to prevent any sharp protrusions from the wheel hub coming into contact with luggage. I restored my cover by sanding it smooth and painting it black. Unfortunately the wheel was missing the little wheel clips that hold the hubcap on. My regular supplier was out of them. There just were not any available. Then I found some similar clips that go to a Volkswagen. They were priced at only $8.00 shipped for a set of 5, just the amount I needed. Rivets were included at no extra cost. The ebay seller told me that they would not work on the Buick. I bought them anyway. Each of the four wheels on my car has three of these clips on them. The wheel that resides in my spare tire well is different. It has five positions for the clips. I attached the clips with nuts and bolts rather than rivets. I then bent them a bit to increase the clearance between the wheel and the spring portion of the clips so they would have the exact contours as the ones on my other wheels. When I tried to pop on the wheel cover it would not stay in place; although, it did seem to be attaching at one of the clips. I removed all of the clips and bent each one again so that they had outlines that approximated the one clip that was holding. The clips were then put back on the wheel and to my surprise the wheel cover fit very nicely. Now that was fun! (Note: I can’t guarantee they will work on your car. I just used them on the spare and am not sure how well they might hold on a moving wheel.)

I got a bit carried away while taking some photos of the trunk area. I was trying to test out various features of my camera, a Fuji HS50EXR. I do not like this camera. It is just too difficult to get good photos. If anyone has a suggested replacement I am all ears. I need something that has a high zoom ratio (50x or more) and a tremendous number of automatic modes that cover every possibility. I’m tired of trying to figure out how this thing works. It’s time for something that is very automatic and which has a large sensor.

(Note: clicking on any image will enlarge it in a new window. Click ‘BACK’ to return.)

 

 

 

Posted in 1941 Buick Roadmaster, Occasional Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Graduate, the car

My son-in-law has the good fortune to have a reputation. He is the go-to guy if you want to offload a vintage car, tractor, or truck. He lives on a small island (Block Island, RI) and it isn’t cheap to transport a vehicle off via ferry and thence to a junk yard. So, the first thing to do is to check if Chris wants it. Oftentimes he does. I have benefited from this arrangement since his excess, namely a 1948 IH Cub tractor, came my way as an overflow item. I took the tractor and he had room for another vehicle.

Most of his current hoard consists of huge shovels, tractors, and dump trucks. Then there is the tiny Alfa Romeo 1600 Duetto Spider, otherwise known as the Graduate. This is a really cool sports car. Although it has seen better days and is more properly designated as a parts car, it still has wonderful lines that beckon to anyone who appreciates Alfa Romeo style.

Why is it called the Graduate? Well, the car was featured in the 1967 film by that same name. This is the car that ran out of gas as Ben (played by Dusitn Hoffman) was racing to a wedding so he could stop the proceedings and run away with the almost bride. You might want to check out the YouTube video below that features the car this one commemorates.

 

 

 

This style will never be outdated.

This style will never be outdated.

The Alfa is ready for a new home. Chris asked me to give it some space here so that anyone interested might inquire with him regarding details of its condition and completeness. So, check out the following photographs. It would be a shame if this car was not somehow put back on the road again. If you are interested you can contact Chris directly by telephone or by sending him email. If you send email put “Alfa Romeo Graduate” in the title.

Email: smelycar at gmail.com  Phone: Area Code 401 dash 418 dash 2661                 Price: $500.00

 

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Of Mice and Buicks

Some years ago shortly after purchasing the ’41 Buick Roadmaster I noticed that it had a rather unpleasant odor. It was something different from the typical ‘old car’ fragrance. My temporary response was to stick an air freshener to the dash.

It looks like fewer than a quarter of the springs have been invaded. Not so. The little pests tunnel from one spring to the next. This will all have to be replaced some day.

It looks like fewer than a quarter of the springs have been invaded. Not so. The little pests tunnel from one spring to the next. This will all have to be replaced some day.

Then I decided to root out the cause. Some determined sniffing soon lead to the front and back seats. Upon removal I found that they were infested with mice nests. The chewed up newspaper, cloth, and mice fur filled many of the spring cavities. Each spring is wrapped in burlap. It was easy to spot the sections that had been chewed through to expose the springs. The final clue that pointed at mice was the trail of small black feces that they leave everywhere. What a mess.

Each spring is wrapped in burlap and sewn shut. This does not deter mice, as you can easily see. Long nose pliers and tongs are effective at pulling out the mess that a vacuum can't get to.

Each spring is wrapped in burlap and sewn shut. This does not deter mice, as you can easily see. Long nose pliers and tongs are effective at pulling out the mess that a vacuum can’t get to.

Notice the material poking out of the spring. The numerous small black items are mouse feces.

Notice the material poking out of the spring. The numerous small black items are mouse feces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently I had reason to remove the back seat so as to access the well that is used for storage of the jack. Guess what I found. The mice were back. They not only open up individual coil covers but they then tunnel from one to the next in a lateral direction so that coils that appear unmolested (should that be unmouselested?) from the outside are actually filled with nests.

I was told very little about the origins of this car when I purchased it. Sifting through the sucked-up nests makes interesting reading.

I was told very little about the origins of this car when I purchased it. Sifting through the sucked-up nests makes interesting reading.

So far I have found two references to New Jersey. Note the 1985 date. I really wanted to find something from 1945.

So far I have found two references to New Jersey and a 1985 date. Can’t read the text? See the enlarged version below.

 

I believe this text describes a state park in NJ. Now I have to decide if I want to look through the rest of the debris.

I believe this text describes a state park in NJ. Now I have to decide if I want to look through the rest of the debris. It would be nice to find something from 1945.

So it was time to get out the shop vacuum and suck them out again. Some day I may bring them to an upholsterer and have it done right by getting the seats stripped right down to the frame and having every soft part replaced. For now it is just mouse-intervention.

I wish I could keep those pests out permanently. The car is stored in the garage at all times but that does not seem to keep them out. I even have mouse traps here and there. I think I will begin putting those traps under the seat frames from now on. I am sure more invaders will arrive.

This guy got stuck in the end of the vacuum crevice tool. His supple texture indicates he may  have expired only recently. I do not like mice!

This guy got stuck in the end of the vacuum crevice tool. His supple texture indicates he may have expired only recently. I do not like mice!

Regarding the capabilities of a shop vacuum, there are limits. I had to use a regular vacuum to get into smaller areas. It’s good that I did because at one point it became stopped up – with a mouse. Yup, an entire mouse. He was in great condition as in deceased only moments before. Oh well, the battle goes on.

After cleaning the back seat I decided to check the front. This desiccated rodent was found tucked in a corner.

After cleaning the back seat I decided to check the front. This desiccated rodent was found tucked in a corner.

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2015 Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival

Somehow I heard about the Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival. It takes place on the grounds of the Klingberg Family Centers, an organization that has served children and families since 1903.

(Note: clicking on any image will enlarge it. Use the BACK key to return)

The event was to be held in New Britain, Connecticut, a mere 71 miles from my home. The festival usually attracts several hundred cars of all sorts plus a special Concours d’Elegance class of some 40-50 vehicles. This year the grand marshals were to be Bob and Wayne Carini and Lindsay Cushing. Wayne is the star of the very popular Chasing Classic Cars show that airs on Velocity Channel. I watch the program almost every morning and this event would be an opportunity to see Wayne in person. There were a couple of hurdles to overcome before I would be cleared to attend:

  • The June 20 date was the same day that I was supposed to manage a previously scheduled VE exam. My friend Bob Beaudet solved that problem by agreeing to fill in for me.
  • I really wanted my wife (not exactly a car nut) to go with me. She agreed on the condition that we did not take the ’41 Buick Roadmaster. I could live with that (this year).
  • The weather had to be good. I had no control over that one.

Well, the weather was perfect and so was the day. We pulled in to the New Britain Rock Cats Stadium, parked the VW Beetle (lots of parking space), and took a shuttle bus ride (no charge) to the Klingberg Family Centers on Linwood Street. Admission for seniors was only $10 each. That included a glossy program book and a ballot for the spectator favorite car. The center is on beautiful grounds high atop the city of New Britain. Panoramic views of the countryside were at every turn. The number and quality of vehicles was overwhelming! The displayed cars were almost exclusively all original or mostly original factory vehicles. Although I do appreciate custom automobiles, it’s the originals, restored or unrestored, that I like the best. When I look at an old car I want to see an old car that displays what the original purchaser saw. It is the variety of early technology and style that interest me the most. That is what was on display at this event. Everything from an air-cooled Franklin, a fully restored Stanley Steamer, and several original ’32 Ford coupes to the incredible luxury and style of a 1960 Plymouth Fury convertible. It was all there.

The best part of the day was near the end of our stay. We had just walked to the back field so as to deposit our spectator choice ballot at one of the tents. We had already attended the opening ceremony on the front porch of the main building. There we saw Wayne Carini and his daughter address the crowd. We did not expect to see Wayne again. Suddenly my wife pointed out to me the Chasing Classic Cars tent.

Wayne is a real gentleman and I was thrilled to meet him. He even cued my wife as to when to click the photo.

Wayne is a real gentleman and I was thrilled to meet him. He even cued my wife as to when to click the photo. Notice the shirt I am wearing, an unintentional but welcome product placement for E. H. Scott radios, another hobby of mine.

Wayne was standing in the tent and greeting a small line of well-wishers. My wife Camille encouraged me to get in line (there was only one person in front of me) and go speak with Wayne. I handed my camera over to her and she quickly got it ready for a possible photo opportunity. Wayne and I spoke for a few moments.  I found him to be a genuinely friendly and authentic person. He was obviously there to have an enjoyable day and to donate his time to the Klingberg Family Center. He helped make a good day into a great day!

One of my special interests is Buicks since I own a 1941 Roadmaster. There was not a single 1940’s era Buick at the show (if it was I missed it … very unlikely) but that is not to say that there were no interesting Buicks. The one I was most impressed with was a 1925 model. It was huge and beautiful! The owner’s son (recently back from military tours of duty in several countries including Afghanistan) was gracious enough to tell me about its history. This particular model is the result of a complete ground up restoration that was completed about seven years ago. Imagine purchasing this gem way back in 1925!

 

The interior of the Buick is a bit spartan but roomy. Notice the spark advance lever and all the nickle plating.

The interior of the Buick is a bit spartan but roomy. Notice the spark advance lever and all the nickel plating.

This 1925 Buick has presence! Click on the link in the text to learn all about the restoration it went through.

This 1925 Buick has presence! Click on the link in the text to learn all about the restoration it went through.

1925 Buick left side aa

What an impressive paint job! This is one car that you can step into without hitting your head. Also notice the generous running board.

The spoke or artillery wheels looked great. The bright metal disk in the middle is what I would call a real “hubcap”.

 

A more modern Buick that caught my eye was a gorgeous 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon. That’s right, a woody. It reminded me of the old 1947 Mercury woody  I once owned. Everything on such a car is deluxe, right down to the detail interior woodwork. This car has the same straight eight engine as my ’41, but with a single carburetor rather than the dual setup that was available in 1941. It also would have the foot-operated carburetor-mounted starter switch that I am interested in restoring on my car. I was not able to photograph the switch since it was on the side of the engine that was covered by the hood.

1952 Buick Woody - Check out that grill and the signature bumper!

1952 Buick Woody – Check out that grill and the signature bumper!

The designation on the glove box door confirms that it is a Roadmaster.

The designation on the glove box door confirms that it is a Roadmaster.

WoodyEngine

It’s the famous Buick straight eight, very similar to the one in my 1941 Roadmaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The four portholes say it is a Roadmaster. The maple says it's a woody.

The four portholes say it is a Roadmaster. The maple says it’s a woody.

 

That rear post is massive as is the top frame. These pieces look new.

That rear post is massive as is the top frame. These pieces look new.

Wood panels on the inside and metal gate stops just like on a Ford.

Wood panels on the inside and metal gate stops just like on a Ford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to spot a mid-thirties Buick that did have the carburetor-mounted starter switch and managed to take a clear photograph of it. I am in the process of building up all the information I need before attempting to repair the one in my car.

The two yellow wires leave the starter vacuum switch at lower left and travel to the starter solenoid relay. Depressing the accellerator pedal moves the accelerator rod which engages the vacuum switch. The relay is now energized and the engine cranks. As soon as it starts manifold vacuum retracts a ball in the switch and breaks the contact so that the starter will not crank while the engine is running.

The two yellow wires leave the starter vacuum switch at lower left and travel to the starter solenoid relay. Depressing the accelerator pedal moves the accelerator rod which engages the vacuum switch. The relay is now energized and the engine cranks. As soon as it starts manifold vacuum retracts a ball in the starter vacuum switch and breaks the contact. This switches off the solenoid  so that the starter will not crank while the engine is running. What a great idea!

My favorite car at this event was a 1960 Plymouth Fury. The owner gave me a guided tour around the car. He pointed out to me a chrome strip that encircles the front end, including fender wells, and is duplicated in the rear of the car. The steering wheel is of a modified square shape with the most intriguing horn arrangement I have ever seen. The interior has amazing decoration and detail but it all blends in extremely well. This is a car I could put in my garage (although I would be light by over $100,000 or so).

It's a 1960 Plymouth Fury in superb condition. What a ride!

It’s a 1960 Plymouth Fury in superb condition. What a ride!

So many colors and chrome accents, even in the seat material. And it all works.

So many colors and chrome accents, even in the seat material. And it all works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you enlarge only one picture by clicking on it, this is the one. Wow!

If you enlarge only one picture by clicking on it, this is the one. Wow!

This car even looks good from my distant vantage point on top of a hill.

This car even looks good from my distant vantage point on top of a hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took about 100 photographs of the show cars. I won’t attempt to display them all here but I will show you a few of the more interesting ones. If you plan to attend the show next year please note that the date will be Saturday, June 18, 2016.

My wife sports a smile next to the Stutz.

My wife sports a smile next to the Stutz.

1921 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow .. Massive!

1921 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow .. Massive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster. What color!

1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster. What color!

Pontiac hood ornament - my all time favorite.

Pontiac hood ornament – my all time favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thermos Truck of 1925. What a great surprise!

The Thermos Truck of 1925. What a great surprise!

Now that is a wheel! All trucks should have these.

Now that is a wheel! All trucks should have these.

 

A Packard 120. I believe it is from 1941.

A Packard 120. I believe it is from 1941.

Packard 120; I could sit in this rear seat all day!

Packard 120; I could sit in this rear seat all day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 1941 Buick Roadmaster, Occasional Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Turtles of the Wood River

Yesterday (June 11, 2015) was my first day on the river this year. It was a long time coming.

I decided to go for an easy paddle up the Wood River in Hope Valley, RI. I put in at the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association which is only 2 miles from my home. It is a real nice spot with a ramp, dock, parking lot, and a Porta Potty. What more could you ask for?

The most common feature of the river is its abundant turtle population. They are everywhere. They are also skittish. I usually locate them sitting on driftwood while sunning themselves. I notice that the branches on partially submerged trees always point up at about a 40 degree angle. That’s exactly the pose that the turtles take once they settle down and extend their necks. Here are a few photos of the terrifying turtles of the Wood River: (Note: clicking on any photo will enlarge it.)

SmThis is my pad

“This is my pad, buster!” This one was small enough to be supported by a lily pad. I wanted a closer shot but he took off before I could react.

 

I noticed a strange shape near the river bank. Was it an animal or a piece of Styrofoam? Look closely (click on image). It is two mating snapping turtles.

I noticed a strange shape near the river bank. Was it an animal or a piece of Styrofoam? Look closely (click on image). It is two mating snapping turtles.

The two snapping turtles were on their sides and tightly engaged. Notice those large claws. I might have taken more photos but what I got was rather poor ... these big animals thrashing around spooked me!

The two snapping turtles were on their sides and tightly engaged. Notice those large claws. I might have taken more photos but what I got was rather poor … these big animals thrashing around spooked me!

"Come out of your shell Shorty! We have work to do."

“Come out of your shell Shorty! We have work to do.”

"What's the plan, Sam?" "There's a plump caterpillar in that little plant. It's your turn to climb up there, Shorty."

“What’s the plan, Sam?”
“There’s a plump caterpillar in that little plant. It’s your turn to climb up there, Shorty.”

"Hey Elmer, I think we're going the wrong way."

“Hey Elmer, I think we’re going the wrong way.”

"Everybody look up! I think I hear a low-flying dragonfly coming this way."

“Everybody look up! I think I hear a low-flying dragonfly coming this way.”

"Water slides are great fun, Timmy. You go first!"

“Water slides are great fun, Timmy. You go first!”

There were a few insects out there too. Fortunately most of them were not interested in me. Maybe it was the insect repellent that I sprayed on myself. Then again they had quite a few other things to eat. The damselflies appeared to be eating small flying insects. The area below where they were eating was often littered with the wings that they first pulled off before eating their prey head first.

Look closely at the yellow surface of the kayak. Do you see the wings and feet, leftovers of the damselfly lunch?

Look closely at the yellow surface of the kayak. Do you see the wings and feet, leftovers of the damselfly lunch?

I think this one was ready to take off. He didn't want to pose any more for the guy who did not know how to focus a camera.

I think this one was ready to take off. He didn’t want to pose any more for the guy who did not know how to focus a camera.

At one point I had to beach the kayak on a small island for a brief rest stop. It seems it was a popular site for a variety of animals. I found some tracks and about a dozen piles of feces. My guess is that raccoons left the mess. What’s your guess?

My guess is that a raccoon left this. What do you think?

My guess is that a raccoon left this. What do you think?

SmFetid Feces

The Wood River supports an amazing abundance of vegetation. Two of the dominant species are arrowhead and rushes. There was also a large crop of lily pads in the sunny sections of the river.

Arrowhead in the background and rushes in the foreground. If you attempt to plow through with a kayak you may end up getting out so as to pull away.

Arrowhead in the background and rushes in the foreground. If you attempt to plow through with a kayak you may end up getting out so as to pull away.

The lily pads are by far the most colorful plant around. The insects love to lick them.

The lily pads are by far the most colorful plant around. The insects love to lick them.

Little bugs have big bugs. Everybody was with the program.

Little bugs have big bugs. Everybody was with the program.

The lower portion of the pistil on this flower is a brilliant red.

The lower portion of the pistil on this flower is a brilliant red.

The Enchanted Forest. I decided to leave this photo on its side so you might appreciate the mirror image in the water.

The Enchanted Forest. I decided to leave this photo on its side so you might appreciate the mirror image in the water.

Then there is the elusive Great Blue Heron. I saw several of them, as usual. They also saw me, as usual. They have a habit of flying off long before I can get close enough for an easy photograph. Next time I will have to take my new camera that has manual focus and 40x zoom. Maybe, just maybe, I will then be able to get some decent pictures.

Can you see the bird? It's the fuzzy thing in the middle. They taunt me.

Can you see the bird? It’s the fuzzy thing in the middle. They taunt me.

This is what all the herons do when they see me. Next time I will have a camera with which I may freeze the action and keep it in focus. This photography stuff is not easy!

This is what all the herons do when they see me. Next time I will have a camera with which I may freeze the action and keep it in focus. This photography stuff is not easy!

Posted in Nature: Plants and Animals, Backyard, Woods, and River, Occasional Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Automotive Collectibles, part II

(Note: enlarged versions of all illustrations will appear in a new tab if you click on the photo. Also, if you really like the ’41 Buick, please check out the Gallery that I put together on Flickr.)

The previous posting here described some items that I have collected so as to complement my old 1941 Buick. Those items and many more are available to enhance any old car you might have. Most of the items I discuss with this blog edition will be specific to the 1941 Buick but similar items are surely available for any other car.

So let’s discuss car color. You may think you know what the color of your old car is but then there may be a surprise or two when you dig a bit deeper. Most cars have an ID plate that describes, usually in code form, the color that the car left the factory in.

Paint Chip Color 60_cr
That code is always helpful so long as you have something to interpret it with. That is where an original Paint Chip chart comes in handy. Such a chart will have individual blocks of paint attached to a page that likely came out of a three-ring binder. It will supply you with the codes and the names of the colors. The plate on the firewall of my ’41 indicates a paint code of 560. The Dietzler paint chart interprets that as ‘Black’. My car is not black. It is a two-tone green. After consulting the paint chips it appears that I have an upper color of Mermaid Green (580) and a lower of Ludington Green (570). The chart also indicates that Mermaid Green was paired with Cedar Green, not Ludington, to create the two-tone code 579. Was a lower color of Ludington Green also an option? I do not know. Either there were other options, I am not reading the colors right, or someone who did a repaint made the change. I have more research to do.

Does your car have a glove box? There was a time back in the ’70’s when some low-end cars had just a shelf but no locking box. Older cars, such as mine, did have a glove box.

The clock is a nice beige and cream color that matches the main instrument panel. Notice  the machine-turned door of the glovebox.

The clock is a nice beige and cream color that matches the main instrument panel. Notice the machine-turned door of the glove box.

It was usually cloth-lined and did not come with gloves. It did come with a surprising number of items though (as most cars do even to this day). The door of the ’41 Buick glove box may display a color-coordinated clock in the middle of it. Otherwise the hole for the clock will be taken up by a ‘clock delete’ medallion.

The Electric Clock instruction manual. There were two different suppliers that year. Notice the complicated directions for starting the clock.

The Electric Clock instruction manual. There were two different suppliers that year. Notice the complicated directions for starting the clock.

The new owner was provided with a clock installation and operation manual. If you look at the accompanying photograph it will be evident that it took a bit of work to get the clock running. There were two different manuals because Buick sourced clocks from two different suppliers. The manufacturer name (Jaeger made the one in my car) will be found on the back of the clock.

The glove box also contained the Owner’s Manual. In the 1940’s an Owner’s Manual was comprehensive and easy to understand. How comprehensive was it? Buick went so far as to explain how a clutch functioned! For 1941 the manual featured the title “YOUR 1941 BUICK -Fireball Eight“.

There were several editions of the 1941 manual, each containing 104 pages. The first caution a new owner saw upon opening the book was what looked like a handwritten message on the inside of the front cover. Most versions said “Suggest you read “use of jack” on page 60″. Manual Cover 70That was good advice because the jack was difficult to use and in my opinion not very safe. Any slight rocking or rotation of the wheel could easily dislodge it. One somewhat rare variation of the manual has a different inscription inside. It says ““Suggest you read short wave radio information page 97. For “use of jack” see page 59“. The shortwave radio is a very rare option! Then there is the mystery of pages 51-54. They are missing from many original manuals. After adding several manuals to my collection I found that these pages consisted of a “Maintenance Chart” with a grid for logging things such as oil changes and visits to the dealer. Most people just tore it out and kept it separate from the manual. I now have one example that was filled out and another that was never used. The used one makes interesting reading. If you have a complete manual there will also be a fold-out “Chassis Lubrication” chart tucked in the back.chart 70

When you buy a used manual for your car (don’t even think about buying a reproduction – all the charm will be missing) there are often extra goodies included. Good Housekeeping fabric care frontOne common item is the Good Housekeeping upholstery booklet. It explains how to keep those seats looking their best.
As a new Buick owner you were also entitled to a letter from the current Vice President and General Sales Manager of Buick.  If you were successful at starting up the clock, beginning the maintenance chart, and learning how to jack up the car you might want to sign your new Identification Card. The ID card I have is an original that once belonged to Mr. Lawrence Kahn. He was the second president of the famous E. M. Kahn & Co. department store of Dallas, Texas. KahnOwnerCard frontThe card indicates that the car was purchased on 12-2-40 and that it was a model 41-56C. This means it was in the 50 Series (called the ‘Super’) and that it was a 2-door convertible. Of course you could buy an unused reproduction card for your car, but where would the fun be in that? Matt of Harwood Performance has done a nice study of model identifications and you might want to take a look.KahnOwnerCard back

 

 

 

 

Then there are the Buick dealers. It’s great fun to find out where your car was purchased and if the dealer is still in business. I have none of that information for my car so I tend to be interested in all old-time Buick dealers such as Orand Buick that sold the convertible to Mr. Kahn (see above).

It appears that some customers were delinquent on payments (some of which went back to 1938). All of these lucky folks paid up (I have the original receipts).

It appears that some customers were delinquent on payments (some of which went back to 1938). All of these lucky folks paid up (I have the original receipts).

What happened if a customer was late on payments? Well,  I learned a bit about this when I luckily won a bid on some correspondence from Northampton Buick Co. in Northampton, MA. It seems that they often had difficulty managing collecting payments on their own and were forced to use a collection agency. The document pictured here displays the colorful stationery (“Best Buick Yet”) used. There is also colorful language such as the margin inscription “threaten to repossess unless paid at once“. The records I have indicate that all parties paid at once.

The final item I have today is an inspection sticker. If you are lucky you may find one for your particular state. I found one for Pennsylvania (I live in RI) that is unused and dated 1941. It would look nice on my car window. I may just print out a copy and use that. The original will stay in my Buick Album!

PAInspectionFront1941

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