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1920s motor-car garage.These four photographs turned up in a collection during 2007, and seem to each show the same vintage-era garage from different angles. Firstly, a general view from outside the garage premises.
This photo has some great detail to it. Just visible on the tin sheeting, in which this garage was covered, above the doors is an advertisement for Pratts Power, a motor spirit (or 'petrol') popular back in the 1920s. A number of petrol pumps are visible in this view, they were probably quite recent installations as previously fuel would be distributed in 2 gallon tins, that are popular with collectors today. The pumps look like those produced by Bowser, in particular the model known as the Red Bowser Kerb Pump. Bowser installed its first kerb side pump in 1914. The Red Bowser was designed to be attractive to advertise a brand of motor spirit on, with illumination at night courtesy of the glass globe fitted to the top. Their sales blurb of the day went: "Time is money; that is why he [the motorist] has a car. So deliver 10 to 20 gallons a minute of good, pure, filtered petrol, which has been accurately measured without spilling all over his car, and you have made a friend who will return for fresh supplies, and will also tell his friends. Think this over and you will find the statement correct."
The white painted building alongside has an advertisement, which, although partly cut off, suggests a company name of Philpot Garage Ltd, Service and Engineering, along with Morris Service in large lettering. Two vintage cars are also in view.
This photograph, taken when the tourer had moved away, shows better the display in the garage window. A large number of motoring products and accessories are displayed, some of which I can make out (just), including "John Bull Leak Cure Bands" costing 6'6, "John Bull Patches", various lamps, "John Bull Knee Caps" - rubber pads to affix to the side of a motorcycle's fuel tank, Lucas, "Karpol" polish and others I can't make out. Prominent in the window is a fine old motorcycle - a squint through a magnifying glass identifies it, I think, as a Levis. Levis was produced by Butterfields Ltd of Birmingham, and was a lightweight and affordable machine. Production of various machines continued until 1940 (a photograph of a 1930's Levis can be seen here). This example has a cardboard sign on the petrol tank, stating "Shop Soiled 34 pounds".
Displayed in the window, above the motorcycle, is a sign for Standard Cars, a motor manufacturer's name that appears in signs within the building also. At either end of the window display is a pair of hanging glass signs, perhaps illuminated at night, for Bean Cars, so this garage was not specific to any one marque it seems.
The photographer has now stepped inside the garage building. An assortment of different cars is parked within the workshop - if anyone can shed any light on the cars shown, perhaps by the shape of their radiators, I'd be interested to hear. A sign hanging proudly from on high again mentions the "All British Standard Cars". To the left, inspecting some motorcycles, are three gents, with what looks like a clocking in machine nearer the camera. The final photo, a little blurred, shows the same scene from a different angle, the clocking in machine being clearer.
Sadly no information came with these photographs, to suggest where they were taken. Perhaps the Philpot Ltd sign on the adjoining building rings a bell with someone? The fact that Standard cars are prominently advertised both within the workshop and in the window, suggest that perhaps they were an agency for Standard and Bean motorcars?
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