"Flivver" in OED

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Sun Jun 8 21:25:34 UTC 2003

On Sun, 8 Jun 2003, Baker, John wrote:

#        The OED also has 1938 for "squad car."  Here's some

#State v. Pauly, 267 S.W. 799 (Mo. Dec 31, 1924).
#        >>The terms 'automobile, automobile truck,' were concededly
#interpreted by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on January 12,
#1918, to include any self-propelled vehicle, irrespective of the
#nature of its use, and that to fall within those terms it was
#essential that the vehicle or conveyance be used primarily for the
#transportation of persons or property other than the machine itself.
#By this interpretation motor fire engines and fire-fighting machines,
#if constructed to carry only such persons as were required to drive
#them, were excluded from the scope of the tax. Regulation No. 47 as
#amended (articles 11, 12, and 13), stating that the tax applied to
#automobile trucks, even though 'persons may incidentally be
#transported at the same time,' modified the previous rulings. Hook and
#ladder trucks, hose wagons, and squad cars were held taxable and taxes
#were paid thereon by plaintiff under protest, even though the sales
#were made to municipalities. It was afterwards ruled (regulation 44)
#that sales of motor fire engines and motor-transporting apparatus to
#states and political subdivisions were not taxable as automobiles, or
#as automobile trucks, and the taxes paid were refunded.<<

"Automobile truck"! There it looks to me as if "automobile" is being
used as an adjective, like "mobile", in a way we wouldn't see
today; = 'self-propelling' rather than 'self-propelling vehicle'.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania

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