I am trying to date this family photo (which will help ID the small girl in the center of the image – or at least help eliminate some suspects).
It would help if I could ID the truck in the picture. I tried to find old images of trucks, but couldn’t find anything to match the grill on this one. From the styling, I’m guesstimating it dates from around 1937 to 1940. Any experts out there?
Bonus points for identifying the tractor on the left.
Also, while that grill design first showed up in about '41, a look at the '46 models shows them to be pretty much identical due to no new models during the war. The '47 model was quite a bit different.
Here is a site with some decent pics of many years worth of trucks from that era.
The tractor looks like a early 40’s John Deere ‘A’. Here. The grain binder it’s pulling looks to be much earlier than this – not uncommon. Combines were still fairly new technology, and lots of separate threshers were around. I believe that the picture is reversed, based upon the side the binder is attached to the tractor (wrong side), and the placement of the mirror on the truck (only one mirror, likely to be on passenger side).
Of course, I’m totally impressed that you can figure anything at all about that tractor. Cool.
However, I’m a little bit curious about the mirror: At different times, my vehicle has suffered the indignity of losing each mirror. I daresay that being without a driver-side mirror is far more problematic than being without a passenger-side mirror. Why would they would have only a passenger-side mirror?
I disagree with the reversal theory. Every vehicle had a mirror on the drivers side. Passenger side was an option.
Also, there was a fresh air intake grille on the drivers side of the hood, which is visible in the picture. That’s supposed to be on the drivers side (I’ve seen 'em only on one side, and sometimes on both sides. I think when they’re on both sides, it’s only cosmetic and the functional one is on the drivers side.) If you look at the picture that someone else posted (third post in the thread), you see the passenger side and can’t see that intake grille.
You’re right, of course. I just noticed that the binder was being pulled from a different side than any I’d seen before, and found another detail to back up that incongruity. So, the picture is not reversed, and the binder in use (which we can’t make much detail out of) just happens to be ‘right-hand’.
The picture has a 1941-1946 style Chevy truck, and a 1938-1947 John Deere tractor. It couldn’t have been taken before 1941, but could be (theoretically) taken any time after that. It could be taken last week, by some historical society, for all we know. Not that I’m suggesting that, of course.
The use of grain binders was becoming rare by the early 1950’s – in fact the last ones were built in the 1950’s. Combine’s were taking over.
There appear to be four people in the photo, someone driving the tractor, a short person (probably a child, but older than the girl) standing to the left of the driver, leaning on the fender, and what must be a woman, by her hat & dress, operating the binder.
So the practical range for this photo is 1941-1951. Any later than 1951, and that truck wouldn’t look so nice, and it would have been rare to see a grain binder. Using a woman to operate the binder points me to the war years.
I’m inclined to agree with most of your post (including the date), but I only see three people in the photo: The girl, the driver (who is turned in his seat and looking backward) and a woman operating the binder.
I had earlier suspected that the little girl was my mother, but given the now-revised dating of the photo, it is likely that my mother is the one operating the binder (as a teenager). It’s going to take some more detective work on my part to identify the girl, since I am unaware of anyone in my family who would be the right age.
I see four people – that means at least five were present, including the photographer.
Looking at the tractor, above the level of the hood, silhouetted by the hills in the background, we have from L to R:
(Note that I’m not necessarliy listing people, just features here)
The exhaust stack. Directly behind it, partially obscured, thus making the exhaust stack seem wider than it is, the air intake. Not discernable as separate in this photo.
The tractor driver. Appears to be wearing a cap, is leaning to the right to watch the alignment of the binder cutting blades to the row.
Standing passenger, probably a child. Appears to be leaning against the L fender. This one is tough to make out, but I don’t know of any other explanation. There is nothing on a grain binder, or on the tractor, that stands up this tall. I’ve stood in this position on similar tractors as a child.
OK, it’s not a grain binder after all. It’s a tractor pulled harvester. Pictures here and here.
This fits perfectly – there is only the driver and the attendant, the little girl, and the photographer. The details of the harvester pictured are an exact match to what we can see. That’s why the ‘grain binder’ was pulled on the wrong side – it’s not a grain binder, it’s a harvester. The other person I saw was a projection on the harvester.
I should have realized this earlier – in one of the pictures, the girl is playing near some grain sacks in what looks like the same field/ time frame. You’ve got to have something threshing the wheat to get sacks full of grain. A grain binder bundled shocks of grain for threshing later.