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Fix-a-Flat: 1937

Fix-a-Flat: 1937

March 1937. "Migratory agricultural worker family making tire repairs along California highway U.S. 99." Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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The good old days

It's not the cement that changed, it was inner tubes themselves. They were real rubber, now they are basically plastic in which rubber cement has no affect.

Car ID

1928 Chevrolet 4 cylinder. Last year of the 4 cylinder for many years; first year of 4 wheel brakes. The emblem surrounded by a fancy gold colored with wings etc. oval is a 1928 unique feature; never repeated.

Good Tread Anyway

He must have punched a hole in it. That's a pretty good looking tire compared to most you see on cars at that time. But the wear on their faces tells a story that we can only imagine and hope we never experience ourselves.

Found all kinds of Patch Kits on Google

But not this one.

Monkey Grip was a popular brand when I was a kid in the 60's.

If you were really hip you had the "Hot Patch" kit where you clamped it on the tube and set fire to the backing.

Failure to patch was an option, in fact it seemed more like the default outcome.

Wheel weary

I have a friend who is a photographer in So. California. When he finds one of these Depression era cars abandoned in the desert, he captures artful photos from it. I can't help but think of the family, often with children, stranded with very limited funds and a vehicle that just won't budge another inch. What became of them? The woman looks worried and worn to me, putting on a brave face for the camera.

Seeing the U.S.A.

in their Chevrolet.


Well, at least someone is happy.


1928-ish Chevrolet?

Rubber Cement

Tires were easy to patch until about the 70s when real rubber cement was withdrawn and replaced with something that didn't work.

This causes bike riders today to carry a spare tube instead of a patch kit.

Hard Life

I look at my own car, that is now 10 years old, with barely a scratch on it. The poor old '27 Chevy has been battered to within an inch of its life.

Uh, Dad?

We forgot to pack the pump.

Deja vu

Now this is where Ralphie says a really bad word.

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