Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ford Model A smoker

Last Sunday I asked my readers to identify this dome-like structure. Other that the detail offered in the photograph, I only gave two clues. "While it's connected to a food device today, it has its origin as a non-food object," I said in my blog article of October 3, 2010.

Two intrepid readers posted their guesses as to the identity of the devise. Brenda first asked if it was a "pressure cooker" on Sunday evening. Her response sounds reasonable. As the past director of the Southern California Chapter of IDOS, Brenda wrangles cast iron Dutch ovens at the chapter's beach gatherings.

"I'm guessing a blowout for a steam loco," posted Ed on Monday from his Southern California home, where he chronicles his family's camping adventures at Our Camping Blog.

Neither Brenda or Ed supplied the right answer. You could say that Brenda came the closest to revealing the identity of the cooking devise. Here's another picture of the devise from last Sunday:

I found this trailer-mounted smoker at the California BBQ Association-sponsored Smokin' For Gold event at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Andy Ferrendelli fabricated the smoker out of a early twentieth century fuel delivery tank.

"The closest I've been able to date (the tank) is 1918-1920," said Andy. He found the tank in Colusa, California, about 14 miles south of his home in Princeton. After burning it out, Andy discovered that the tank was built in Wasco, California, by Baker Brothers.

Today the dome serves no purpose other that as a historical attachment to the smoker. A cleaned and polished brass fuel breather valve tops the clean-out port.

Three such tanks were mounted on a Ford Model A truck, said Andy. The tank is made of a nickel alloy.

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