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History Pines Winterfront factory

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Phillips, May 26, 2011.

  1. Phillips
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    Phillips
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    Waiting for the light to change, I look to my right and see this. I've probably driven by here 300 times and never noticed.

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  2. GARY?
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    GARY? Member

  3. 117harv
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    117harv
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    cool...or warm depending on how you look at it:):)
  4. pasadenahotrod
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    pasadenahotrod Member

    Not only did they make the winterfronts but they also made the accessory Pines trim for 36 Fords.
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  5. Human Fly
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    Human Fly BANNED

    WOW, now thats cool!
  6. RustyRedRam
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    I don't know what is better: the building itself, or what was created inside it.
  7. RocketDaemon
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    RocketDaemon Member

    I heard that in the cellar there are crates with nos 1932 pines winter fronts... ;)
  8. It's amazing that the building survives. Does anyone know when the company ceased to operate? ....Don.
  9. Phillips
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    Phillips
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    The building appears to be in good shape, it looks like it is being used for something, although I didn't see any signage of any kind on it.

    I'd like to know when they shut down too, some of their patents from the '20s have been referenced by other patents as recently as 2001.
  10. tommy
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    tommy Member

    I never would have thought that they were that successful that they could build their own building. Buying an existing building and putting up a sign is one thing but building your own with that custom front is something else. They must have sold a bunch.
  11. Phillips
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    I was surprised as well; but then again they did make them for many cars and trucks, plus they held patents on the thermostat and automatic shutter designs, etc. (This I just learned from reading up last night). It's an impressive structure.
  12. flatoutflyin
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    They made a fine product in an era of bellows type thermostats, unpressurized cooling systems, and alcohol type antifreeze. I read sometime ago that the wax pellet type thermostat (which allowed pressurized cooling systems), along with more complex grille styling, and permanent type antifreeze, did them in during the early 40's.

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  13. hudsoncustom
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    hudsoncustom Member
    1. Swindlers G.K.Y.

    Very cool. I love those deco era buildings.
  14. F&J
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    F&J Member


    Back in 75, I bought a complete but rusted 36 conv sedan with rusty Pines trim. It also had a smooth hood ornament thing to replace the stock one.. Was it part of the Pines trim?
  15. hotroddon
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    hotroddon Member

    The Pines Winterfront Co. of Chicago manufactured thermostatically controlled radiator shutters. Invented by James Raleigh in the early 1920s, the Winterfront had a thermostat that pressed against the radiator core. When cold, its shutters cut off air flow, allowing the engine to warm up. When warmed up (I’ve read that the threshold was 130 degrees F, appropriate in the days of alcohol-based antifreeze with a low boiling point), the thermostat operated levers that opened the louvers. Some time in the 1930s, manufacturers began to install thermostats inside their engines. Thereafter, the need for Winterfronts faded.
  16. v8 garage
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    v8 garage Member

    Very cool art deco building. I would like to know more about the history of the building itself.
    V/8
  17. bonesy
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    That really is cool.
  18. sololobo
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    sololobo Member

    What a knock out building, I am stoked seeing this histrocal monument. Whao would have thought this company was as big as it was, and easy to imagine how quick the demand for the product stopped. Yikes!! Glad to see the structure has been quite well maintained. Long live classic buildings!! ~sololobo~
  19. Funny how you can miss stuff in everyday life.



    Did ya drive around back and look in the dumpster?
  20. von birch
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    von birch Member

    i know ford introduced an accessory winterfront for their cars in 1937, just a flexible/fabric grille shroud. and 36 is the latest for winterfront for a ford i've ever seen...
  21. englishrodder
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    englishrodder Member

    Very cool Building, was watching a 32 Pines front on eBlag.... its gone through the stratosphere...!
  22. fab32
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    Impressive structure for such a focused product. I've got to believe they had other products to be able to support that kind manufacturing operation.

    Frank
  23. hotrd32
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  24. Rehpotsirhcj
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    Rehpotsirhcj Member

  25. exwestracer
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    exwestracer Member

    Stutz, Duesenberg, and Marmon (and others I'm sure) all used Pines shutter assemblies on their factory radiators. Remember, that was a time when a patent still meant something...
  26. thommoina33
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    thommoina33 Alliance Member Staff Member

    not to move to far of the subject, i have a 33 ford pines grill,
    i've seen a couple of these come up on fleabay and fordbarn,
    i've never seen a 34 pines grill, did they make them?

    thommo.
  27. Bigcheese327
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    Some diesel trucks still use a winterfront-like device.

    -Dave
  28. 1950ChevySuburban
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    1950ChevySuburban Member Emeritus

    I have a 1927 Essex grille with horizontal louvers that open / close. Always wondered if that was Essex or Pines. Anyone know?
  29. exwestracer
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    exwestracer Member

    Years ago, I worked for a restorer/collector who told me that all of the thermostatic shutters were built under Pines patents. Not sure if they all came from the Pines factory, but I could believe it.
  30. theHIGHLANDER
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    theHIGHLANDER Member

    Packard kept automatic shutters (pines system) through 42. I believe all Cadillac 12s and 16s had em as well. That's a lot of cars. Like bigcheese said, trucks had them for a long time. Easy to think Ford accessory almost as an exclusive, but not at all the case. I'd love to stumble through that place. Thanks for the picture.

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