All revved up!

Sum­mer Cars fea­ture leads to gift of an­tique tire changer for Som­er­set Model T en­thu­si­ast

Annapolis Valley Register - - COVER STORY - KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA SOM­ER­SET Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

When he agreed to be fea­tured as part of a spe­cial se­ries of sto­ries, a Som­er­set Model T en­thu­si­ast had no idea it would re­sult in the gift of an an­tique tire changer.

John Ea­ton, the owner of four Ford Model T’s, was fea­tured re­cently with his 1923 Canopy Ex­press as part of SaltWire Net­work’s Sum­mer Cars se­ries. The co-founder of the Junkery in Hal­i­fax, Ginny Ster­ling Bod­die, read the piece and re­al­ized that they had a rather rare ac­ces­sory in stock that Ea­ton would prob­a­bly like to have.

She reached out to Ea­ton to let him know they had a 1924 Weaver brand tire changer in their shop that he could have if he wanted. Ea­ton and his wife made the trip to the Hal­i­fax busi­ness to meet the Bod­die’s and to pick up the equip­ment. Ea­ton said he was very pleased to get it.

“I was very sur­prised be­cause I hadn’t seen one,” Ea­ton said. “As far as I know, there aren’t very many around, none that I know of.”

He was even more im­pressed once he ex­pe­ri­enced what a phe­nom­e­nal job the tire changer does. As a Model T en­thu­si­ast, it’s a very use­ful tool. Ea­ton had a spare tire that was flat, one he had changed and re­paired about four years ago. He said the ex­pe­ri­ence was rather mis­er­able and took two or three days. With the tire changer, the job took about 30 min­utes. It al­lows you to ro­tate the tire and lock it in place as you work on it.

Ea­ton said the tires for a Model T are sim­i­lar to bi­cy­cle tires. You have to stretch them to put them on and the strug­gle without a tire changer is try­ing to hold the tire steady as you work with a cou­ple of pry bars or tire irons. Rub­ber gets harder with age, fur­ther com­pli­cat­ing the process of chang­ing a 70 or 80-year-old tire.

Ea­ton said it was in sev­eral pieces when he got it but he found a pic­ture on­line that showed him how to put it back to­gether. He was very im­pressed that, with the ex­cep­tion of the crank – which he built – and a cou­ple of bolts, it was all there. Ea­ton fash­ioned a wooden plinth to bolt the tire changer to and he built a tool box on the unit to hold some other tire chang­ing tools he al­ready had.

Through re­search, Ea­ton has learned that the orig­i­nal colour of the let­ter­ing on the changer was likely yel­low, so he plans to paint it au­then­ti­cally.

‘Meant to be’

Ster l ing Bod­die said it “re­ally was meant to be.” The tire changer was picked up in a 2015 garage clean-out and be­came quite a con­ver­sa­tion piece at the Junkery. No one ever guessed cor­rectly what the tire changer was. Ster­ling Bod­die said the Junkery does its best to find suit­able places to do­nate unique items.

“De­spite Junkery’s best ef­forts to reach out to var­i­ous places such as in­dus­trial mu­se­ums, there was no in­ter­est,” Ster­ling Bod­die said. “Junkery could not send this piece to the metal scrap­yard and was happy to let it stay as the of­fice con­ver­sa­tion piece.”

She no­ticed an on­line ar­ti­cle on her home­town’s www.Cum­ber­landNewsNow.com about Ea­ton and his Model T col­lec­tion and de­cided to reach out to him to see if the item was some­thing he’d like to have - and it was.

Ster­ling Bod­die as­sumed that it would be a nice collector’s piece for him to have. She and her hus­band, the other co-founder of the Junkery, never imag­ined that it could ac­tu­ally be put to use.

“We are thrilled to know that the long wait to find the per­fect home for this piece was worth it, both for us at Junkery and Mr. Ea­ton,” Ster­ling Bod­die said.

About the tire changer Ster­ling Bod­die said that based on in­for­ma­tion found in Google searches and the mark­ings on the piece, they knew that the man­u­fac­turer was Weaver Mfg. Co. Ltd. based in Spring­field, Illi­nois. The com­pany man­u­fac­tured garage and shop equip­ment. This par­tic­u­lar tire changer was made by Weaver Cana­dian Co. Ltd. in Chatham, On­tario.

She said they found a Weaver cat­a­logue on­line is­sued by the Hud­son Mo­tor Care Com­pany that dated this model, the Weaver Uni­ver­sal Tire Changer Model E, to 1924.

“It re­tailed in the United States east of and in­clud­ing Den­ver for $58 U.S. For west­ern and Cana­dian prices, you had to ask your job­ber.”

Ea­ton said the tire changer would work for all makes of de­mount­able tires made in the 1920s and into the 1930s. A friend of his re­cently drove all the way from Hal­i­fax to change two tires be­cause of the amount of work in­volved without the changer.

Two John and Ginny’s? When Ster­ling Bod­die first called Ea­ton, he wasn’t home and she spoke with Mrs. Ea­ton. At the end of the con­ver­sa­tion, Ster­ling Bod­die asked Mrs. Ea­ton what her name is and they dis­cov­ered that they are both Ginny’s. It wasn’t un­til the Ea­ton’s ar­rived at Junkery to pick up the tire changer that it dawned on Ster­ling Bod­die that the two cou­ples are both John and Ginny, with Ginny be­ing short for Vir­ginia.

The two Ginny’s shared sto­ries of al­ways hav­ing their names spelled in­cor­rectly and wish­ing they had a nickel for ev­ery time they’ve heard “Yes Vir­ginia, there is a Santa Claus.” The two John’s joked about al­ways hear­ing “John, be care­ful” from their re­spec­tive Ginny’s.

Ea­ton said it was a great visit and they found the Bod­die’s to be very nice peo­ple. He said the two cou­ples have a lot in com­mon.

About Junkery

Junkery is a junk re­moval busi­ness lo­cated in Hal­i­fax that launched in 2015. The com­pany spe­cial­izes in cus­tom junk re­moval plans and has an en­vi­ron­men­tal fo­cus. They sort all ma­te­ri­als col­lected and di­verts 85 per cent away from the land­fill through re­cy­cling or do­na­tions. The com­pany doesn’t re­sell any items it col­lects.

One ex­cep­tion is scrap metal, which Junkery puts into its Junkery Com­mu­nity Spon­sor­ship & Do­na­tion fund which helps sup­port sev­eral ini­tia­tives. The com­pany won the New Busi­ness of the Year award from the Hal­i­fax Cham­ber of Com­merce in 2016. In 2018, Junkery be­came the first junk re­moval com­pany in Canada to be­come “bull­frog­pow­ered” by green fuel.

SUB­MIT­TED

This is how the an­tique Weaver tire changer ap­peared at the Junkery be­fore it was do­nated to John Ea­ton of Som­er­set.

KIRK STARRATT

John Ea­ton of Som­er­set works with his an­tique tire changer.

KIRK STARRATT

The an­tique Weaver tire changer that the Junkery in Hal­i­fax do­nated to Ford Model T en­thu­si­ast John Ea­ton of Som­er­set.

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