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Homepage. This page: Available in the 1930s, a brake testing machine designed for use in commercial garages and repair workshops.

The "Weaver" Automatic Brake Tester.

This brake testing machine was developed in the late 1920s, and was designed to test the braking of motorcars that came into a garage for servicing. The illustration shows a two door car (with distinctive windscreen arrangement), parked on a set of ramps alongside the robot-like brake testing machine alongside, dwarfing the mechanic chap stood at the controls.
Brake testing equipment suitable for a garage
The Weaver brake tester was intended not just for use by the garage staff, but also by passing motorists who wanted to do their own brake check. A garage would offer this service in the hope that a motorist doing the test, and who received a poor brake rating, would summon the attentions of the nearest mechanic, and arrange for the brakes to be adjusted at the same facility. The system was also illuminated, so could also be used by the public even after the garage had closed for the day. The system was designed to test the braking efficiency at all four corners simultaneously, simply by driving the car onto four movable plates at steady speed then jumping on the brake pedal. The machine would then report to the driver on his car's braking status, via four glass gauges at the top of the 'tower'. Each gauge contained a coloured liquid, giving an instant reading.
I've never heard of these testers before, do any survive I wonder? I doubt any are in use, but it'd be nice to find one perhaps in a museum, or in the dusty stores out the back of an established garage somewhere! No mention is made of the price, so perhaps only the slickest of service bays would stump up the required to buy this ingenious piece of equipment. Cheaper options would come on to the market, allowing driver's to test their own brakes - the in-car Tapley Brake Efficiency Indicator being a classic example. In America, owners of small workshops may well have chosen a system such as the Thermoid Tru-Check.
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