Motoring Through History

24 03 2010

Not all of the historic items housed at the Oregon State Hospital relate directly to psychiatry and medicine.  The objects preserved at the hospital also provide a wider view of our past, like the history of truck and automobile travel.   

T2009.004.200 Truck Flare Kit with Truck Flares made by the Toledo Pressed Steel Company

It’s the 1920s (or any decade leading up to the 1960s).  The vehicle you’re driving breaks down on a dark and deserted stretch of highway.  No cell phones.  No emergency flashers.  What are you going to do?  Pull out your truck torches of course.  This kit contains two flares for lighting at night (and the accompanying red flags for day use) to help prevent further incidents by alerting drivers around you to your predicament.  The Toledo Pressed Steel Company began producing torches like these in 1927.  Federal regulations still list flares and red flags as “parts and accessories necessary for safe operation” of “trucks, tractors, and buses” under 49CFR393.95.  

More information on Truck and Highway Torches. 

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