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Not joking, I am serious

Posted by DallasCop2566 
Not joking, I am serious
May 17, 2016 07:06AM

The elderly woman that lived next door passed away in 1987. Her elderly brother moved the furniture from the home and sold it as is. There was a unattached garage and above the ceiling joists was a storage area he must not have been aware of.

The people living there cleaned out the garage in preparation for a automatic garage door installation and discovered the above device stored.

Anybody remember these things. I did and told him what it was and he still thinks I am joking with him.
Re: Not joking, I am serious
May 17, 2016 12:43PM
That is an old evaporative cooler for cars. It fit in the car door side window with the window rolled up. This was long before auto air conditioning. My parents had one for our 1948 Studebaker, but it didn't work all that well.
Re: Not joking, I am serious
May 17, 2016 01:44PM
Yes, that's an automotive evaporative cooler, or "swamp cooler". You see one on a car occasionally nowadays, at car shows or cruise-ins. I imagine they worked better in places like West Texas, Arizona or Nevada, where the air is drier.

Some pictures on Google:


And a thread showing a teardown of a Thermador branded one, on the Jalopy Journal:

Re: Not joking, I am serious
May 17, 2016 06:51PM
We had one of the things, and used it mostly on the highway, especially traveling between Dallas and Monahans, TX, where we once lived and had relatives still living. That was in the early to mid-fifties of the last century. My brother put ice in the device, but of course, the ice didn't last long, though it did seem to make a little difference. But, I was ten years old, so what did I know?

Dave McNeely
Re: Not joking, I am serious
May 17, 2016 07:40PM
Yep, my family had one of those. Also an evaporative "Saturate Before Using" water bag which was hung on the front bumper push bars. I'm certain the bag cooled the water some and I "think" the swamp cooler cooled the air too. Especially between Dallas and Calif. Wow, hadn't thought about those in years.
Re: Not joking, I am serious
May 17, 2016 09:06PM
Oh, the bag cooled the water. Of course, it used some of the water to cool the rest. Outdoors/camping equipment suppliers offer newer versions today, promoting them for use at the campsite or while back packing. I even saw a catalog with a "customer testimonial" claiming that one such bag, not to carry water, but to carry items one wants to keep cool, had been useful to him on an extended backpacking excursion for keeping his insulin cool.

Maybe. Maybe not. But evaporative cooling definitely works.

I saw a couple of the old water bags at a garage sale recently, but the asking price was way above reality.

Dave McNeely
Re: Not joking, I am serious
May 18, 2016 06:06PM
I guess I am officially old, because I knew exactly what that was before looking at anyone else's answers. We had relatives in West Texas and I think these were more common out there. They also used the burlap wrapped water bags hung on front of the car. These attempts were better than no cooling at all, but I'm not left wondering why they lost out to a/c technology.
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