Video: Facts on Friction, 1934

shoeHere’s the lowdown on mechanical drum brakes circa 1934, courtesy of the Chevrolet Motor Division. Great little movie, check it out. 



This little 10-minute instructional reel doesn’t require a lot of explanation. Produced by the Jam Handy Organization, the film was designed to showcase the operation of the brake system on Chevrolet’s 1934 passenger cars. And if you ever wanted to learn how these early mechanical drum setups worked (pretty well, actually, all things considered) here’s your video. The technical insights offered here are excellent.

Of course, we also watch these old films for their their wonderful little glimpses into everyday life in the past—their time machine properties. In that regard, the film is also a gem. Enjoy.


3 thoughts on “Video: Facts on Friction, 1934

  1. After watching that I need some mechanical drum brakes! Though looking at those brakes and recently some Austin 7 [1933] brakes they are chalk and cheese for quality and efficiency.
    Actually by then hydraulics were starting to come in, a bit new fangled but they did get some support

  2. A factoid: Heavy truck air brakes still use the “S” cam method to activate the brakes. In place of the manual rods however is the air chamber which works the lever to apply the brakes. The shoes on a trucks brakes are mounted in one place though, not on a pivoting lever like the Chevy was. Just a little info for all you folks that have never been around heavy trucks!

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