Dakota Datebook

How To Start An Automobile

Sunday, April 25, 2004

In April 1910, the Hansboro News offered the following advice:

Here are a few things a gasoline engine will and will not do. They will not run backwards; sometimes they won’t run forward either. If they won’t run either way try severing your connection with the anti-swearing society, get out in the woodshed and give full vent to your feelings – it will help lots.

They will not run without gasoline; after you have carefully removed the spark plug, cleaned and replaced it, thoroughly overhauled the carburetor, tested your battery, and turned the crank (until exhausted), send for an expert and pay him $5.00 to turn on the gasoline for you.

They will run any time except when you are in a hurry. If you’re in a hurry, don’t let the engine know about it… It will not quarrel… The only thing that makes them hot is to run them without water.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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