Category: January, 2018

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 theoldmotor.com

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 picasaweb.google.com

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 picasaweb.google.com

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

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