I was reading the thread on batteries and keeping them up on non-generator cars. What did people do in the early T or N,R,S era? People wouldn't have had battery chargers like everyone today. They were probably expensive and even if you bought one if you lived where I live, I don't think there was electricity until the 50's.
Dry cell battery in early years. You just bought new ones.
By the twenties, when the radio craze hit, rural America was charging batteries with wind generators. Often it was just a car generator with a propeller attached. I don't know when that began, but it was a common sight by 1930.
I have heard on good authority, if you leave it with the man in the chair,...He can hook you up.
My neighbor said his Dad has a Stover 3 HP hit and miss motor that ran a generator for charging batteries. People would bring batteries over and pay him to charge them.
As late as the 1950s folks where I grew up (Maine) used to take their batteries to the service station to be charged...one place I worked in the late '60s was still using a Tungar bulb charger; it had a wide range voltage output and you would select the number of cells to be charged, fine tune the charge rate with a rheostat, and you could charge a whole bench full of batteries simultaneously by connecting them all in series!
We had electricity in the forties and later but for some reason no one I knew of had a battery charger. That includes farmers.
I think we were so used to taking our batteries to the service station before we had electricity that we kept doing it even after we got electricity..
When we had two tractors we only used one in the winter.
When springtime came we either took the other tractor's batter in and had it charged or we would tow it to get it started once and let it charge as we used the tractor the first day.
In the 1930s my grandparents had a large Spartan 6V battery operated radio in the house. They would eventually swap out the radio battery with the one in the car to charge it up. Car was a 1929 Chevrolet and later a 1936 Oldsmobile. That was one way to keep the battery charged but it sure would have been a lot of work. I'm not sure how often they had to change out the radio battery to keep it working.
Hi Steve (Jelf), My late uncle Bill Erwin had such a setup to run his reflecting telescope in North Billerica MA. in the early 1950's. His day job was designing RADAR antennas for Raytheon. His hobbies included the reflecting telescope that would track any star in perpetuity, and building an organ that he then learned to play.