Electro Magnets Clear Tacks Off Universal City Streets (Mar, 1930)

Or you could just sweep the streets…

Electro Magnets Clear Tacks Off Universal City Streets

ELECTRO magnets on a bar mounted on wheels and trailed after a car make the streets of Universal City, California, safe for motorists. The magnets pick up nails, tacks, pieces of wire, lost bolts and nuts and a wide variety of other metal objects which if left in the streets would cause punctures and other tire trouble. Frank Graves, electrical chief of the city, invented the puncture fighter.

5 comments
  1. experiment 626 says: October 4, 20127:29 am

    Wait! What happens if the car with the magnet hits the very same it’s trying to pickup since they were too stupid to put it on the front?

  2. DrewE says: October 4, 20129:44 am

    It appears to me that the tow vehicle has solid rubber tires, so punctures should not be a significant problem. I’m not sure I’d care to be the operator of the contraption, what with a sizable gas-driven generator mounted about a foot from my ears.

  3. Hirudinea says: October 4, 20121:08 pm

    What about glass?

  4. experiment 626 says: October 5, 20126:37 am

    @DrewE I knew it had solid tires, I just was just being a smat ass but I agree on being close to the gen set or having to drive that thing in-between jobs since pneumatic tires provide a lot of cushion.

  5. Mike Brown says: October 8, 20127:10 am

    In his book “The Man with the Red and Green Eyes”, former NYC traffic commissioner Henry Barnes described doing this during WWII, as a way of reducing punctures in rationed tires. He sent the truck with the electromagnet down the street, and it was very successful in picking up nails and whatnot… and also every manhole cover it passed over.

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