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Old car wash magazines early 1950's

20 replies created over 7 years ago
posted by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

I have truied several years to get old first editions of auto Laundry News or other car wash magazines showing American Automatic Tunnels from the late 1949 to early 1950's No Joy the Publsiher only goes back to 1958 and the Library goes back to 1957. Useful what they sent me but what to do to go back. Service Station magazines really covered other equipment and would take hours and hours to go through material, These American editions are not available to study in the British Library on British Editions, to which I have gone through


reply by PanamaJim over 7 years ago

I've got some bits and pieces. What cha going to do with em?

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

I would like to see them for my interest in old equipment and was thinking of writing a book but for now just out of interest my e-mails is I am interested in the development of this equipment but find it impossible to go back to this period many thanks

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

I have never written any book before

reply by Robert Roman over 7 years ago

I worked at car washes in Pa. during the late 60’s with equipment made in the late 40’s and early 50’s. I don’t have fond memories of the “equipment” or hauling chains in a wheel barrow or using a steamy jenny, hand washing or caustic soap. By comparison, a modern express tunnel is a breeze.

Like the video killed the radio star, the internet has killed books.

Perhaps you will get personal fulfillment from writing such a book because I doubt the historical perspective would have much commercial value.

I’ve written industry-related books in the past and made money doing so. Today, many people believe they can find with they want for free on the www. Today, writing an industry-related book is mostly a labor of love.

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

Oh but the early brush units and dryers must have been interesting to watch. We did not have these car wash units until 1961 and that whas American Chem Therm. The first roll over brush stations i think were Emanuel of italy and German makes the American one was minit man but no details exist of that unit now

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

Well Robert and Panama Jim, I looked at Flicker and saw car wash on flick called oasis and although I was told its from the early 1950's it looks very modern and I saw the brush units not really that different from todays equipment. would love to see a film, perhaps the oringal is the best and it has lasted. In the UK equipment does not last that long and is often replaced about just 8 - 12 years tops sadly hand car washes are taking over

reply by PanamaJim over 7 years ago

That's the one. I hadn't looked on flickr. I think they restored the location for a toyota commercial but I haven't been able to comfirm. Amazing pics.

If you want to see the pics locate flickr, then search for oasis car wash.

Steam guns, chem therm friction, pull chain conveyor, preston jet wax.

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

PanamaJim I thought it might be that one, please advise when you have had time to send me scans of your old stuff just excited to see it when it arrives regards Keiththomas

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

Well has anyone found out any borchures or old magazines from the late 1940's yo mid 1950s like auto laundry news as I have received nothing yet

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

Anyone out there got anything especially the first Auto Laundry News Editions

reply by buda over 7 years ago

Keith what we call Auto Laundry News was started by Robin King in about 1967 or 1968. Robin passed away a few years ago and you can probably contact his son Roberto who lives with his mother, Robin's wife, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The International Carwash Association, previously called the Automatic Car Wash Association (ACWA) had a magazine called the ACWA Journal and the ICA may have some past issues in their archives.

Or, if you can find Gus Trantham the Chicago operator who ran the ICA from the late 60's until the mid-90's he might have something.

Also contact the NE Carwash Association there are a number of operators involved there that were pioneers in the industry.

Another lead would be Joe and Ed Dahm of Mike's Car Washes in Indiana who have been in the business since 1948. Or Bruce Milen of Jax Car Washes in Detroit. Bruce's father Jack was a early pionner in the industry too.

Hell, I am a newbee to the industry (43 years) and I am 72 so there are not many guys left you can help you.

Bud Abraham

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

Hello again


I will try these to close a gap of very old research from the 1930's 40's then jump to 1957 onwards. It is a pity that old documentation and brochures were destroyed. Its sad that the original firms such as California, Chem Therms Washmobile then Rocket went. I do not understand as they were some years ahead of other firms. I will try these.

Many Thanks

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

Well Bud,

I contacted Eric Wulf of the International car wash association who advise Thank you, Keith. I'm sorry, but our records won't assist in this request.

Yet a seller on ebay is selling an old magazine from the automatic car wash assoiciation. This dealer is unreliable and I had to request a refund as seller failed to send it.

I have e-mailed Jax car wash awaiting their response but I am starting to think I have now what is probably available.


reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

Sorry Panama Jim, any luck with obtain early material yet for me

reply by KeithThomas over 7 years ago

I have read through many history and getting ideas how it was developed it appears Minit Man was the first to bring automation to car wash production line methods buy still finding it hard to obtain old literature prior to 1958.

reply by emersonthemam over 7 years ago

My grandpa started a car wash in tiffin ohio in 1952 that is still ran by my dad and i

reply by KeithThomas over 6 years ago

That sounds interesting I have to see what I receive when people get time

reply by KeithThomas over 6 years ago

Well Guys I have tried and tried and still waiting to see if literature will be e-mailed or mailed to me hopefully what there is will turn up. I have some interesting stuff I could send in return if interested

reply by KeithThomas over 6 years ago

Well Thank you to all the people who sent me the literature. I am now studying it a lot to sort out and read. It appears my research was right but there were a lot of developments in the 1950s and 1960's the best period I think. Regards
K Thomas

reply by Ted12 over 5 years ago

I just wanted to say - good luck with your work! Even though I am late to the party. It sounds like a potentially fascinating little niche to write a book in. May your research and writing go well - I know firsthand that writing something, especially as long as a book, isn't easy...

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