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Homepage. This page: An original photo of a rare solid-tyred truck of the 1920s era.
Original transport photographs
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In terms of vintage American truck photos, here's quite a rarity and my thanks to Dick Dennis for providing it from his family's photo album. In it, his grandfather accompanied by his younger brother are shown with a solid-tyred "Defiance" truck in 1920 or thereabouts. What a superb image.
The age of the vehicle is clear to see, in part thanks to the presence of such vintage delights as solid rubber tyres, and wooden-spoke wheels. This example looks to have been sold as a chassis fitted with factory front panels (bonnet, radiator, wings), to which a very rudimentary wood-framed - and un-glazed - cab had been fitted. The truck maker's name is painted on the rear body.
Protection from the elements in this Defiance was minimal to say the least, with no sign of glazing being present, nor doors for that matter. Just a simple wooden shelter offering the bare minimum of occupant comfort. But in context, operating such a basic machine was preferable to using horse-drawn carts to make deliveries. Talking of deliveries, Dick's grandfather and great uncle drove the Defiance to transport coke (a byproduct of crude oil refining, and burnt as a cheaper alternative to coal) from the Standard Oil refinery in Sugar Creek, Missouri, USA, throughout the 1920s. Drivers of commercial vehicles 100+ years ago were built tough - no windows, no heaters, no syncromesh gearboxes, no creature comforts whatsoever.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Defiance truck
Little information regarding Defiance-brand trucks is forthcoming online. It would appear that they were products of the Turnbull Motor Truck and Wagon Company (later Century Motor Truck Co.) of Ohio, and were built from 1917 to 1930, in 1- through to 3-ton versions. Later examples were known as Century rather than Defiance trucks.
Return to Page 21 in the motoring image archive, or visit the main index of vintage & classic photographs here.

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