Let's Talk Rusty Iron: Rural residents tackled snow drifts with tire chains and elbow grease.
During the 1950 storm, this was a common scene: Traffic snarled along busy Pennsylvania Route 51 at a gas station not far from the author’s boyhood home. (Photo courtesy of Charles W. Townsend III.)
An array of tire chains and repair parts from a 1946 ad. W: repair links to quickly mend a broken cross-chain on the road. X and Y: replacement cross-chains. Z: strap-on emergency chain. These emergency snow chains were meant to be used three or four to each wheel, and could only be used on spoke wheels or disc wheels with slots. AA: car tire chain. BB: single truck version. CC: double set for use on dual truck wheels.
The front of a box of Monkey Links used to repair broken cross-chains. Monkey Links came in five sizes. These are No. 3 size for 2- to 5-ton trucks. The box of five No. 3 links originally cost 40 cents.
A 1925 ad for Weed tire chains with good advice for motorists during snowy or muddy weather. Tire chains are a lot easier to put on in the garage than while stuck in mud or snow.
A 1924 McKay ad showing how tire chains fit the tire. Chains on both the rear-driving and the front steering-tires were recommended by many experts and, of course, chain manufacturers, but we used them only on the rear wheels.