The Friday File – Throwback Car Wash, the “Chicago Way”!

Car Wash Bowl 1920 Geoffrey Baer

– photo courtesy of

For some strange reason unbeknownst to me, this particular post from Valentine’s Day, 2015 caused quite a resurgence in views this past week.  I have no idea why!  However, given that little prod of the stats from the fine folks at WordPress, I thought I’d repost it today.  If you haven’t seen it, I hope you enjoy it! Happy Friday!

No, please be my guest and have a longer look at the above photo.  I’ll be more than happy to wait; after all, it’s Valentine’s Day, and I have a delightful little box of all-sorts sitting beside me, taunting me for my attention!

Ah, you’re back! Great!  I was utterly impressed by the ingenuity of the, “Auto Wash Bowl”.  And what a wash bowl it was!  First appearing in St. Paul, Minnesota, the bowl soon became a hit on the Chicago car circuit.

Chicago’s answer to bathtubs for big cars arrived in the form of a large basin-shaped construction.  At a reasonable price of just 25 cents, an attendant would place a cover over the car’s radiator to protect it from the car cleansing!  Car owners would then drive ‘into’ the bowl, complete several circular laps while the ridged concrete of the bowl removed some of the mud and dirt from the vehicle’s undercarriage.

Now Henry

– photo courtesy of

Interesting the car in the above newspaper ad is referred to as, “Henry”, don’t you think? Ah, Mr. Henry Ford, methinks you’ve had more than your fair share of motorized monikers!

A resounding, “Everybody out of the pool” was heard (just kidding; but it would be rather funny, don’t you think?) For those who needed the deluxe cleaning, a quick drive out of the bowl and into a service bay was in order, where an attendant would take over to, ‘finish the job’ (I did say it was the, “Chicago Way” now, didn’t I?)  *grin*

For those who wanted to jump in with both feet (and car), you, yes YOU could own your very own automatic, automobile bathing bowl:

 Wash Bowl Chicago

– photo courtesy of

Ah, Saturdays at the ‘ol Auto Wash Bowl; good, clean, car fun!

  27 comments for “The Friday File – Throwback Car Wash, the “Chicago Way”!

  1. January 8, 2016 at 9:41 am

    How funny is this – great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 8, 2016 at 9:42 am

      *LOL* Thank you, Mary! It’s the “Chicago Way”! 😉 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. January 8, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I remember this post, yay for paved roads!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. January 8, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Hey, so funny, Cher! Auto wash bowl… never heard of that before.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. January 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

    What a hoot.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. January 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    How Fascinating – I did not know this – thanks for sharing! Happy Weekend – Enjoy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 8, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Isn’t it just? I am sure it was quite the ‘event’ to partake in at the time (1924)!! Happy Weekend to you, too; thank you! Cher xo


  6. January 8, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I bet my father remembers this! His dad had a Model T. Such a funny phot0!

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 8, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Oh did he? I bet your father would remember this! It is a funny photo, isn’t it? The first time i saw it I had to look twice because I wasn’t sure I was actually seeing cars in a ‘pool’! *LOL* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 8, 2016 at 4:03 pm

        Yes, we’re from Michigan, ‘Ford’ country. I wonder if this happened there as well? 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • January 8, 2016 at 4:49 pm

        I wonder as well. I know this format of car cleaning began in Minnesota, but I would not be surprised if it also had popularity in Michigan (as you said, ‘Ford’ country)!! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. January 8, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    How funny it was! So it was originally from St. Paul? 🙂 I live now in its neighbouring city, Minneapolis 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 8, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      Yes, that’s right, Indah! Oh do you? How cool!! Cher xo


  8. January 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Wonderful idea and record of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 12, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Isn’t it something, Hilary? Cher xo


Comments are closed.

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