It's amazing that so many cars were driven in the winter without anti freeze. Seems that many cracked blocks and heads (not to mention radiators) would have been the result especially when you consider how little most of the owners really knew about what they were doing.
Alcohol was mixed with water rather than the modern day ethylene glycol solution used today. The concentration of the mix had to monitored as the alcohol would boil away.
Jack - Old guys like me can remember using the alcohol anti-freeze with water, just as you said, even into the early '50's! My Dad used alcohol in his brand new '51 Pontiac for it's first couple years or so, and I remember distinctly that he changed to the ethylene glycol in about 1955 (give or take a year or so). Here's why I remember,.......
I got my first car when I was 15 in 1956 ('28 Model A Ford Coupe) and put that "new-fangled" (and very expensive) "permanent" (ethylene glycol) anti-freeze in it, and my Dad gave me all kinds of "h---"about it, saying,..."what are you,...rich or sumth'n?" The very next winter, guess what Dad put in his Pontiac? Yup! Permanent anti-freeze! I wanted to say to him,...."what are you,...rich or sumth'n?" But in those days, kids didn't talk to dad that way. I know I sure didn't, or I'd be pick'n myself up off of the ground!
Anyway, my point is, I never saw anything die out so fast as alcohol anti-freeze as that stuff did when the new "permanent anti-freeze" came out! (...or maybe I should say when it became popular) Funny,....when I think about it,....it really used to be called "permanent" anti-freeze, but it's seldom called that anymore. Probably because it really should be changed once in awhile, huh? Altho' I really think a lot of people never bother with that,....they just trade the car in on a new one! Guess what's one of the first things you should do to a newly purchased "used car", right?
All that, and I forgot to say,....GREAT PHOTO Jay! I'm always amazed at how sharp & clear many of those old photos are!
from right to left #1 ford the next 4 look to be overlands. look to be fords from there on. charley
Very good picture and i imagine the passengers in the cars were a little cool when they got to their meeting with no heat. People were tougher back then.. Tim
I too remember it being called "permanent" anti-freeze.
I've heard many used straight kerosene in the radiator. Guess it wouldn't matter as long as it absorbs heat from the block and gives it up at the radiator.
Not sure how kerosene would affect the hoses, but it sure would cut down on interior rust !
Cast iron + water + 90 years sure can make for some ugly metal.
A Northern post card from 1906.
The glycerine mentioned above, was meant to sit on the surface of the water and "seal" it to prevent the alcohol from evaporating out. As I understand it...
Glycerine is very water soluble, and could be anti freeze, but expensive. When I was a kid everybody just said Prestone. Dave in Bellingham,WA