Ford Model-T, 1910
Today, when your car gets grubby what do you do? Maybe you get out the soapy duds (plus a hose) and give it a good rinse. But more likely you take it the car wash. Spend a few bucks and your car is sparkling — almost seems brand new.
Well, the car wash — the automated car wash, that is — has a pretty unique history. And more specifically, as one can expect, a pretty local history.
In 1914 Automobile Laundry, the nation's first automated car wash opened in Detroit. It's where all the new Model T owners (sup Henry Ford!) brought their cars when they needed a good cleaning from the then-prevelant dirt roads.
The fascinating history of the automated car wash — and specifically Detroit's role in not just the creation of the automobile but the cleaning of said automobile is the subject of Michigan Radio's most recent Stateside.
With guest Joel Stone, chief curator at the Detroit Historical Society, you can learn a lot about the genesis of this crazy interesting business.
— in your car — now!