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View Full Version : Proof that Studebaker Owners were frugal



Henry Votel
03-25-2018, 11:18 AM
Have a 2R5 that came out of North Dakota and Western Minnesota. It needed some better tires on it can be rolled around before going for sale. My town, Forest Lake, MN is still the location of a genuine 50’s style tire shop: Reub’s Tire Shop run by Dick Stark. Dick knows lots about tires and cars and has a sharp eye for tire and wheel problems. So I took a pair of tires on wheels to him that needed the rotten tires removed and some used tires put on that would hold air.

When I came to pick them up Dick showed me the inner tube from one of them. Wow! Counted fifteen (15) patches on this inner tube of all different sizes/styles. Dick showed me where it had some really early rubber patches of melted rubber for the patch. This was a farm truck so you gotta wonder what they were running over to get so many punctures.

Then Dick also said these red inner tubes were popular with kids who would cut rubber bands out of them to use on sling shots. The rubber on this tube is still stretchy after 70± years.

No doubt these farmers were frugal Studebaker owners. . . .

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rockne10
03-25-2018, 12:14 PM
Especially during WWII, when new automobiles were not available to the public, Studebaker put great effort in to advising and assisting motorists to get the greatest possible function out of what they had; fix, fix, fix, rather than throw away and consume more raw materials.
This attitude, instilled in a lot of people, no doubt extended well beyond the end of the conflict.
Perhaps THAT is where our reputation as CASO's originated. And that is NOT undesirable even today, when the public majority has been raised to be a consumer society with little regard for waste. :(

Hallabutt
03-25-2018, 12:51 PM
Tubes and tires were simply not available during, and shortly after WWII, unless of course you had the much coveted ration coupons, but few did have them.

Stude Shoo-wop!
03-25-2018, 01:20 PM
Just yesterday, I visited the National WW2 museum in New Orleans and was impressed by the sheer extent of the “home front”. Every single consumer good, from rubber to ice cream, was so tightly rationed that a small minority of gangsters found that making counterfeit ration books was a lucrative business.

It was total war - every man, woman, child, and scrap of material became dedicated to the cause.

acolds
03-25-2018, 01:40 PM
Back when I worked at a gas station lots of older guys and young kids would come in at look at the scrap tire we had waiting to be picked up and pick the best and finish wearing them out if no cords showing they were usable. Even remember a few guys using what they clled a boot inside the tire to protect the tube . When these guys got rid of something it was worn out. Some even would take used oil as they said it was better than none.

Skip Lackie
03-25-2018, 04:42 PM
I suspect that tube was made from natural rubber. It does not tend to get hard with time. Gasoline rationing during WWII was really intended to save rubber, as the Axis powers controlled nearly all of the areas that supplied natural rubber. Although synthetic rubber had been invented before the War, it took the Wartime shortages for the US to develop a much better synthetic rubber.

ddub
03-25-2018, 04:51 PM
Some of that frugality came from living through the depression. My grandfather had Quaker Oats cartons full of used nails he had salvaged. When he needed a nail he took one out, hammered it straight again and reused it. I remember peeling and saving the foil wrapper from sticks of gum.

StudeRich
03-25-2018, 05:39 PM
I remember my Mom and Grandmother busily Mixing in the Red Dye in the White Margarine to make it Yellow!
Then they had to form it into 1/4 Lb. size and use the supplied wrappers to make it easily usable. :ohmy:

That was of course AFTER my Mother had "Winked" at the Grocery Store Manager on the next Street over, to get an extra Pound of Butter with her Ration Coupons! :D After all, she WAS a pretty good looking 39-40 something Blond!

I would not really know if it was Butter or Margarine, or if we could get Real Dairy Butter or not, it was the stuff they put on Toast!

studegary
03-25-2018, 09:08 PM
I remember my Mom and Grandmother busily Mixing in the Red Dye in the White Margarine to make it Yellow!
Then they had to form it into 1/4 Lb. size and use the supplied wrappers to make it easily usable. :ohmy:

That was of course AFTER my Mother had "Winked" at the Grocery Store Manager on the next Street over, to get an extra Pound of Butter with her Ration Coupons! :D After all, she WAS a pretty good looking 39-40 something Blond!

I would not really know if it was Butter or Margarine, or if we could get Real Dairy Butter or not, it was the stuff they put on Toast!

You were lucky. I was the one that got the job of mixing the color into the margarine. Maybe it helped to strengthen my fingers :).

My parents were married in November 1929. They were just starting life together at the beginning of the Depression. I believe that my mother was making $8 per week and my father was making $12 per week (12 hours per day, six days per week).

bensherb
03-26-2018, 03:33 AM
Especially during WWII, when new automobiles were not available to the public, Studebaker put great effort in to advising and assisting motorists to get the greatest possible function out of what they had; fix, fix, fix, rather than throw away and consume more raw materials.
This attitude, instilled in a lot of people, no doubt extended well beyond the end of the conflict.
Perhaps THAT is where our reputation as CASO's originated. And that is NOT undesirable even today, when the public majority has been raised to be a consumer society with little regard for waste. :(

This is still my approach to things. Most the stuff I have was thrown away by someone else and I salvaged and fixed it and continue to use it. That's how I got most of my machine shop. Unless it's absolutely unusable, it gets fixed or made into something else around my place.

JLB
03-26-2018, 06:11 AM
Tubes and tires were simply not available during, and shortly after WWII, unless of course you had the much coveted ration coupons, but few did have them.

I was born towards the end of the war, and have my ration book, with most of the coupons attached.Interesting to look though it to see what was rationed.

jclary
03-26-2018, 07:05 AM
Perhaps taking this topic of frugality a little far afield...but the story of Studebaker, and by association, continued by our collective efforts, parallels, and embodies the "crucible" of hard scrabble living, turmoil and technological development that spanned the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of us, were born during the great sigh of relief, as the country began to celebrate victory. Not only of WWII, but enduring the aftermath of WWI, clawing up from economic depression. In the deep south, (I believe much overlooked), was still dealing with the lingering effects of the war between the states...economically, culturally, and psychologically.

In my early days, I recall how my brothers and I prized the old red rubber inner tubes. To us, finding one of these in a trash dump (usually a gully "out back," no such thing as garbage collection or land fills back then) was something like a prospector finding a gold nugget! Finding one of these, in relatively good condition, would send us into a flurry of "sling shot" manufacturing madness. Usually, searching for that perfect "Y" branch from a dogwood tree. Prepping it, whittling the perfect notches, slow baking it in mom's oven to cure (hopefully without getting caught). Once properly cured, we would get some of the string we saved from opening feed sacks in the barn, to secure the rubber to the sling shot handle. Our favorite material for the leather rock pad was an old shoe tongue. The skills to put it all together properly was passed down from dads, uncles, and brother to brother. It only took one smack in the face from a poorly attached piece of rubber to motivate you to always get it right.:oops:

That was back in the days of playing "marbles," not video games...studying books...not facebook...

We made do with what we could find, sweaty faces, dirty fingernails, and skinned knuckles were a sign of activity, not poor hygiene. The clutter many of us still cherish, is borne of that frugal era. It's just a fact, and no apologies should be required. Wonder what will "mark" the generations that follow.:confused:

Ron Dame
03-26-2018, 07:22 AM
That reminds me of the line in Christmas story: My old man's spare tires were only actually tires in the academic sense. They were round and had once been made of rubber.

Skip Lackie
03-26-2018, 08:50 AM
I recently sold a 37 LaSalle coupe that I had owned for ~40 years, during which time I had replaced the original (WWII retreads) tires once. The original tires had red natural rubber tubes in them, and I reused them when I replaced the tires. Those tubes were still holding air just fine when I sold the car.

Hallabutt
03-26-2018, 02:43 PM
My sister and I enjoyed the job of coloring the margarine. There was an interesting reason for the need to color the margarine in this manner. It would have been a simple procedure to tint the stuff, at time of manufacture. I was told, that the process of hand mixing, was the way the margarine makers got around a law that was put in place to support to dairy farmers, who feared the competition from the lower cost margarine. So the margarine producers were forbidden to make their product look like butter, but there was nothing to keep the consumer from coloring it at home.

TWChamp
03-26-2018, 03:42 PM
My sister and I enjoyed the job of coloring the margarine. There was an interesting reason for the need to color the margarine in this manner. It would have been a simple procedure to tint the stuff, at time of manufacture. I was told, that the process of hand mixing, was the way the margarine makers got around a law that was put in place to support to dairy farmers, who feared the competition from the lower cost margarine. So the margarine producers were forbidden to make their product look like butter, but there was nothing to keep the consumer from coloring it at home.

Yep, that's exactly what we had going on in Minnesota in 1962. It ended shortly after then, so we could then buy colored margarine.
Back in those good old days we didn't even have sales tax, but don't get me started on our high tax now. LOL Sales tax alone is 8%.

showbizkid
03-26-2018, 04:42 PM
Truly amazing and completely foreign to the present generation. "Fix? Why would I fix something I can get a new one of?"

53k
03-26-2018, 05:39 PM
My sister and I enjoyed the job of coloring the margarine. There was an interesting reason for the need to color the margarine in this manner. It would have been a simple procedure to tint the stuff, at time of manufacture. I was told, that the process of hand mixing, was the way the margarine makers got around a law that was put in place to support to dairy farmers, who feared the competition from the lower cost margarine. So the margarine producers were forbidden to make their product look like butter, but there was nothing to keep the consumer from coloring it at home.

I don't know if that was a state law or a federal ruling, but I sure remember that law and white oleomargarine. However, coloring the oleo (my mother always called it oleo) was kind of fun because the white margarine was in a clear plastic bag and also in the bag was a little capsule of orange dye (food coloring). When you kneaded the bag the little capsule broke and discharged the color. To make it butter color all the way through you had to just keep kneading the bag until the color looked uniform.

I don't remember if the old margarine was bad for you or not, but after studying all the ingredients in modern margarine, we decided to stick with real butter and have never looked back.

57pack
03-26-2018, 07:08 PM
My Dad was a fugal guy, he had to be, had six kids!
Always bought new Studebaker’s. Was loyal to the brand as our Studebaker dealer was the first to get him a new car in 1946 upon return from US Army Air Corp.
He could’ve purchased other brands and some were cheaper than Studebaker. But he always remembered our local Studebaker dealer who helped him get that new car in 1946.
We also helped Mom with the dying of the oleo, back in the day. We also were on a party line our,number plus r1. Ask a millennial about that!?

studegary
03-26-2018, 10:52 PM
Yep, that's exactly what we had going on in Minnesota in 1962. It ended shortly after then, so we could then buy colored margarine.
Back in those good old days we didn't even have sales tax, but don't get me started on our high tax now. LOL Sales tax alone is 8%.

I only remember coloring oleo in the 1940s-1950s.
That 8% sales tax sounds good here in the land of taxes. We also have among the highest state income tax and property tax and school tax.

studegary
03-26-2018, 10:55 PM
My Dad was a fugal guy, he had to be, had six kids!
Always bought new Studebaker’s. Was loyal to the brand as our Studebaker dealer was the first to get him a new car in 1946 upon return from US Army Air Corp.
He could’ve purchased other brands and some were cheaper than Studebaker. But he always remembered our local Studebaker dealer who helped him get that new car in 1946.
We also helped Mom with the dying of the oleo, back in the day. We also were on a party line our,number plus r1. Ask a millennial about that!?

We didn't have a telephone when I was real young. When we got a phone it was on a party line of 13. It rang for all 13 in every home. You had to count the long and short rings to determine if it was for you. Even when we got married, the best that I could get was a four party line. At least that didn't ring for others in our home.

TWChamp
03-27-2018, 01:32 AM
In upstate New York, we had a 4 party line, but I never heard of 13 on one line.
My dad moved us out of NY because of work, high taxes, and politics, but MN can't be much better.
I always wanted to go back and check out our junk pile at the tree line in the back of our 40 acres.
That's where all the 50 Studebaker parts went when we removed the body to make my field car.

bensherb
03-27-2018, 07:17 AM
Back in those good old days we didn't even have sales tax, but don't get me started on our high tax now. LOL Sales tax alone is 8%.

Only 8% sales tax sounds great. Our local sales tax runs from 8.25% to 9.75%. 30% of what we pay for every gallon of gas is tax. I could buy a couple really nice Studebakers every year for what property taxes cost us.

Mrs K Corbin
04-02-2018, 11:17 AM
My father grew was about 14 at the time of the Depression. I remember him talking about putting corn in tires and watering that to make it swell. It Also worked for radiator leaks. He also talked about getting parts for his T-Model was as easy as walking some of the roads of Oklahoma and looking for a broke down one for the parts. Many people abandoned cars on the way to California. I still have his Saw-Mill Time Book that had both his name and his fathers name in the record, accounting for time worked etc. He ran a little bootleg on the side I'm told.

- - - Updated - - -

does anyone have a picture of the Ration Cards? How about old time Food Stamps?
I doubt anyone understands what each were for now....

Stude Shoo-wop!
04-02-2018, 08:55 PM
Does anyone have a picture of the Ration Cards? How about old time Food Stamps?
I doubt anyone understands what each were for now....

It's true that WW2 did cause a case of total war to develop - in that every man, woman, child, and scrap of material became dedicated to the cause. Hope this helps!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-askh_OZAFpc/TnmngB79WaI/AAAAAAAAELc/1bORhfY4xoQ/s1600/RationBook.jpg

How about some early '60s food stamps?

http://cdn.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/2192630/85151497.jpg

Very interesting case studies to be made for both!