The Saratoga Automobile Museum is pleased to announce the completion of its 2010-2011 Youth Program project. Involved in the project were 16 students, from seven area school districts, under the guidance of the Museum’s Model T expert, Don Buesing.
For the first of five monthly sessions, the students saw a video on the history of the Popcorn Wagon and its relevance to the village of Cambridge. The students were then given drawings showing just how the Popcorn Wagon was constructed by the Cretors factory. The session continued with the removal of the rear axle and its disassembly. The majority of the work was done by the students under the direct supervision of Don Buesing and other qualified adult mentors.
The project continued with the second session during which the students removed the wheels and wheel bearings, and inspected the wheel hubs and spokes. As this activity continued, the students were also instructed in the use of calipers, micrometers and other measuring devices used in vehicle maintenance and restoration.
For the third session, the students’ task was the removal of the entire front axle assembly. Upon removal, the axle was disassembled and parts were checked for wear (using calipers and other measuring tools). The axle was stripped and repainted, bearings were greased and the front axle was then reassembled with any new parts that were needed.
Session four involved dismounting the tires and tubes from the wheels, then examining the wood spokes, followed by sanding and revarnishing them. New brakes were installed on the rear axle while the spokes were being varnished, and, finally, the new tires and tubes were mounted on the refurbished wheels.
The final session dealt with the requirements for a vehicle to acquire its New York State inspection. Auto Haus Motors provided a licensed inspector to show the students the inspection process and procedures. Following this activity, the students broke into groups and “inspected” the Popcorn Wagon to see if it would pass a New York State inspection.
An additional part of the project was that the students were required to do an out of class research activity that would enable them to learn more about the Popcorn Wagon and life in the 1920s. Forming new groups, the students had to research and make a presentation of their findings. Everyone, both students and adults, learned many interesting facts – such as that the first auto insurance policy was written by a doctor, Truman J. Martin, in 1895, and that our Popcorn Wagon is one of only two that were produced by the Cretors Company in 1925.
The Popcorn Wagon project for 2010-2011 is now complete. We encourage you to see it on display at the 2012 Lawn Show Season.
Funding for this project made possible by a grant from State Farm.
Without organizations and individuals alike projects like this would not be possible. Thank you for the support.