Throwback Thursday: Clean Your Car, “The Chicago Way”

Car Wash Bowl 1920 Geoffrey Baer

**since the polar vortex seems to have a grip on the Chicago at the moment, I thought I’d do a “throwback Thursday” from a post I did a few years ago. I hope you enjoy it!

  • photo courtesy of

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!

  25 comments for “Throwback Thursday: Clean Your Car, “The Chicago Way”

  1. January 31, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Apparently the Bowl is an undercarriage wash only, still fun to splash about in! You guys are really getting pounded with that deep cold up, wow! Stay warm Cher. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 31, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      Yes, I agree, John! We sure are, but Winnipeg is still colder than here! LOL Ah, thank you, and you stay cool! LOL Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 31, 2019 at 9:24 pm

        Thanks, it’s not hot here unfortunately. That is to come. 🙏🏻❤️🌵🌴

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 1, 2019 at 10:45 am

        🙂 xo

        Liked by 1 person

  2. January 31, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    They know how to have fun in Chicago….great pic! Stay safe…stay warm ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. January 31, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Haha, I remember that post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 31, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      LOL I always laugh when I look at the first pic in this post, dear Erika! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 1, 2019 at 4:27 pm

        It is so funny 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 1, 2019 at 4:39 pm

        It is and to think at the time it was forward technology!! LOL 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 1, 2019 at 5:11 pm

        I often think of what we thought was so modern leaves so many with a smile looking at today’s technology.

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 2, 2019 at 1:40 pm

        It really does, doesn’t it? Looking back at the ‘brick-sized’ mobile phones now always makes me laugh out loud!! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 2, 2019 at 3:13 pm

        Haha, yes, a great example….lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 2, 2019 at 5:22 pm

        LOL Thank you, my dear! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2019 at 7:54 am



  4. January 31, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    A delightful ride back in time, Cher! ❤ Stay warm and enjoy your view of Lake Michigan from the window. We're safe and warm inside here in central Maine while the windchill is having its fun. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 31, 2019 at 8:42 pm

      Brilliant, dear Bette! Thank you so much, and excellent to hear that you are safe and warm inside while the windchill decides to meander! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. February 1, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Lovely to be transported back in time Cher.. and hope you are keeping warm and safe.. thinking about you in the Arctic Blast.. Much love .. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

      Isn’t it quite something, Sue? I remember the first time I saw the ‘wash bowl’ photo and I do believe I laughed out loud! I can actually see some movement on Lake Michigan’s surface for the first time in days, dear Sue. Thank you my dear! Much love to you, Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Annie van Es
    February 1, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Cher, I hope it goes you well. You had a very cold hard time. When I am right you get better temperatures now. A nice weekend. Thank you for these speculair views

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2019 at 10:48 am

      Hi Annie! Oh yes, it sure has been very cold the last few days. Because I am from Canada, I think I do okay in this weather. But others that are not used to it find it difficult which I understand. How is the weather today in Holland? Thank you so much, Annie! I hope you have a nice weekend too! Cher xo


  7. February 1, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    That is amazing! Thanks for the historical insight, Cher.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Ah, why thanks so much, my dear! Cher xo


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