What is this?
What is this?
Posted by: Rustymuscle (---.lightspeed.elgnil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 27, 2011 11:53PM

I saw this photo of the 1968 riots on Ebay. Does anyone have an idea what the vertical thing is to the left of the garbage can? I thought it was a parking meter, but it really doesn't look like one I've seen. Thanks.

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5766834944/] [/url]
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5766834944/]riots1968[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/]Rustymuscle[/url], on Flickr

Re: What is this?
Posted by: lursa1967 (---.dsl.emhril.ameritech.net)
Date: May 28, 2011 12:51AM

Looks like an old gas pump or air pump to me.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: jak378 (---.dyn.embarqhsd.net)
Date: May 28, 2011 01:03PM

Boy, this is just a wild guess, but it looks like an old penny scale that somebody started to loot, who knows why, from a store and wound up leaving it at a curb. My best guess, anyway.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: tim62b (---.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 28, 2011 09:47PM

I clicked on 'Riots 1968" and went to Flickr. I went to the largest version of the picture. there's grass all the way up to the thing, which leads me to believe the thing is in the ground. it looks like a parking meter with it's coin box removed. The oval part at the top looks like the time remaining indicator. But the question comes up: a parking meter that close to a bus stop? Unless, it's an old parking meter taken out of service, but never removed.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: b.a.hoarder (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: May 29, 2011 02:06AM

Next to that litter container that old man Daley had placed all around the city the item in question looks to be six feet tall. I don't think it's a parking meter, I'm going with a scale, or some type of odd vending machine. On the back you can see a lock and a chain on which to hang said lock, so as not to misplace it.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: May 29, 2011 04:02PM

looks to me like one of those penny vending machine weight scales..someone either dragged it out of an establishment, or it was already setup outside for some reason.


Re: What is this?
Posted by: crowamonghens (---.dsl.mindspring.com)
Date: May 29, 2011 04:35PM

definitely looks like one of those "Your Wate and Fate" type dealies.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 29, 2011 11:40PM

[b]It's one of those scales they had back then on the street or near the curb.[/b]

Re: What is this?
Posted by: Chipast (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: May 30, 2011 03:32AM

A few were against some building, Well more than a few. To the side.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: West Town (---.elgin.edu)
Date: May 31, 2011 07:31PM

It is a penny scale. As big and clunky as those things were, they were found on quite a few major streets. I remember a few on Chicago Ave. growing up in the 60's. They were on the sidewalks usually chained to a light pole near a bus stop.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: tim62b (---.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: June 26, 2011 11:12PM

look at this image. The object is an old style parking meter.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: WayOutWardell (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: June 27, 2011 02:21AM

It is? The only reason I ask is that the sign below the dial looks like it says 'you should know your weight' with an upward-pointing finger in the middle.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: June 27, 2011 03:30AM

that's not a parking meter, its an old vending weight scale

Re: What is this?
Posted by: daveg (---.lightspeed.joltil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: June 27, 2011 11:27AM

My vote is weight scale.

If I remember correctly, Chicago didn't start using parking meters until the later 30s. On a FC walking tour last year, we saw the factory where these things were made. Forgot the exact location. I do remember hearing that Mexico City was the first to "take advantage" of such devices.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: bowler (---.chipublib.org)
Date: July 02, 2011 04:18PM

That device in the picture is definitely a scale. Here is the website that the image came from and it is clearly identified as a scale:


Re: What is this?
Posted by: Mornac (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 11, 2011 01:55PM

That’s a penny (nickle?) scale. There was one just like it in a drug store near the Granville L station through the mid 70’s. The owner sometimes moved it outside in the summer. The panel on the top featured a grid (light-toned area to the right) which showed what your weight ought to be in comparison with your height.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: zorchvalve (---.hsd1.wa.comcast.net)
Date: October 09, 2011 09:36PM

It's a penny scale and if I remember correctly, it gave you a little card with either your weight on it or your fortune.

Re: What is this?
Posted by: Hugh Manatee (---.se.biz.rr.com)
Date: February 22, 2013 03:30PM

Right On ! The fortunes were as much fun as fortune cookies.

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