The Tintype Truck

Truck at Danas with writing.jpg

In order to bring the tintype experience to more folks who can't make it to the studio, I got a vehicle. A retired German fire brigade crew truck, in fact.  And yes, the lights and sirens still work!

Manufactured by Mercedes in the late '70s the truck was originally stationed in Wiesmoor in northern Germany. It made its way to California a decade ago and was previously owned by Maker Media where it regularly appeared at their Bay Area Maker Faires. Over the years I had seen this stylish beast parked on the O'Reilley Media campus in Sebastopol, and had always been struck by its unique upright, yet friendly appearance. Then after doing tintypes at an O'Reilley event, the fire truck and its future became a topic of conversation (thanks to Tony Q!) and ultimately the discussion led to my purchasing the vehicle. Then the real work began! A few days after taking possession of the truck I was asked, and agreed to do tintypes at an event at the San Francisco Center for the Book just a few weeks later, so the project began. I lightproofed the back, installed working counters, ventilation and a rudimentary plumbing system and voila... a mobile tintype vehicle was born.

The truck is great at gatherings. Its presence is quite the conversation starter as people either want to look at it, talk about it, go for a ride in it, or turn the sirens on. And when they discover that it's part of the tintype process they get even more enthusiastic about it.

If you would like us to be at your event, send us an e-mail. We love to take our show on the road and to bring the excitement of tintypes to more people. Working with an assistant we can produce an average of six tintypes an hour, sometimes more, sometimes less. We can work in "fast-paced mode" or make the process as collaborative and interactive with the sitters as the event allows.