Monday, December 26, 2011
1950s Car Comic - 18 Miles Per Gallon
This is a standard/chrome postcard that just screams 1950s - though there is no date on it. It touches a bit on relationships, and the abilities of automobiles at the time. This one has run out of gas, and the caption is the wife complaining about her husband insisting the car would get 18 MPG. The husband is in the distance running off to find some gas, while the wife waits in the car reading a book. This postcard is also artist signed - "Frye".
In the 1950s, 18 MPG for most cars in the USA would have been considered pretty good. Maybe even better than pretty good - gas was cheap and mileage was not usually a consideration. I got my first car in the 1970s (it was used, from 1966) and it only got 16 miles per gallon in the best of conditions, and I thought that was pretty ok.
When I was living in Germany, I tried to play a little mind game: I'd try to figure out kilometers per liter and convert that to miles per gallon. It's not easy. Gasoline was much more expensive in Germany, and cars, as a rule, were smaller and more fuel efficient, but I could never quite figure out my "mileage" to my satisfaction. Eventually I got to the point where I just accepted the liters and kilometers for what they were, and quit worrying about miles and gallons.
So, for those of you who may not be familiar with USA's version of the Imperial System of Measurements, 18 miles to the gallon is terrible mileage by today's standards, at least for a normal family car. That was not the case when this postcard was created.