Motorboating in a Washtub (Aug, 1931)

Motorboating in a Washtub
THE ancient and lowly washtub, long the symbol of feminine drudgery, recently proved its conservatism in England when efforts were made to modernize it by adding an outboard motor and converting it into a sea-going craft. The tub promptly rejected the idea and submerged.

15 comments
  1. sweavo says: August 21, 20083:55 am

    Them were the days, kids were tougher than whirling steel blades!

  2. JM says: August 21, 20087:42 am

    It looks so amazingly comfortable! one arm in the back holding the motor, your knees on the chest and the back curved trying not to sink back in the washtub…

  3. gianfranco D. says: August 21, 20088:38 am

    This should be filed among the scariest

  4. Steve says: August 21, 20089:53 am

    What could possibly go wrong?

  5. Al Bear says: August 21, 20089:58 am

    OMG! this weekend we went to a local lake that is like 3-4 FT high and used the paddle boats they rent. We had to put on life vests for that. I was like WTH? and here we have a kid with a motor, in a wash tub and no life vest! all I say is Wow!

  6. Guido says: August 21, 20081:02 pm

    Obviously the first predecessor of PhotoShop was invented in 1931: I just love that RIGHT hand holding the motor…

  7. JMyint says: August 21, 20081:34 pm

    Umm, Guido, photographic manipulation has been around since at least the 1860′s.

    http://www.cs.dartmouth…

    Many photographs appearing in the article on this site have been altered, often times highlight the suject of the article. As recently as 20 years ago photo manipulation would take expensive equipment, a good deal of talent, and a lot of patience.

  8. JMyint says: August 21, 20081:35 pm

    I should try to avoid typing while holding my grandson.

  9. gianfranco D. says: August 21, 20082:03 pm

    All the story is probably a fake, because a whirling outboard is just too much for a small tinned bathtub and very dangerous for the passenger, but I see a left hand holding the steering bar. In the other hand, camera oscura manipulation of images requires manual ability but very little equipment: just an enlarger, some homemade masks, retouching brushes, xactos and some ingenuity.

  10. Torgo says: August 22, 20086:32 pm

    I swear this is the first article in Modern Mechanics that actually admits failure!

  11. Charlene says: August 23, 20083:42 pm

    The weird artifacts around the motor and the girl’s feet are likely also signs of manipulation by the photographer.

  12. Anne says: August 23, 200810:52 pm

    Since the thing ‘promptly submerged’, I’m guessing that this is probably a photo or two take on shore, demonstrating how it’ll be used, plus the lake background/foreground added for effect.

    Those ‘weird artifacts’ around the motor and feet are likely supposed to be giving an impression of speed.

  13. Myles says: August 26, 200812:39 pm

    I am sure fake, because the kid is still smiling instead of being terrified at the noise, vibration, and sinking feeling.

  14. Harry says: August 28, 200812:59 pm

    Those old outboards could also give you quite a shock if touched ‘em with your feet in the water. (I speak from experience).

  15. Adrian says: October 17, 20086:33 pm

    Looks like a RIGHT hand to me.

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