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Early-1940s: Training For “Your Life Work” In Automotive Service

After yesterday’s popular article which features a photo of an Auto Shop class struck a cord with a large number of readers, today’s follow-up post contains an interesting 1940s educational training film covering work opportunities in the automotive trade. The video is a part of the “Your Life Work Series” produced by Vocational Guidance Films Inc. and the manuscript for the production is by Arthur P. Twogood an Associate Professor at the Iowa State College.

The interesting motion picture shows prospective students and others who have already begun training, what the careers of a general service technician, and of those that have chosen to focus in a specially area of automobile service work entails. Later on, the film shows various opportunities for advancement as a service manager, trouble shooter, salesman, or as a garage manager or owner.

Tell us what you find of interest in this Film. You can view earlier articles and photos of the National Automotive School of Los Angeles, and many other posts covering Garages, Filling Stations, and Dealerships.

  • Training For Your Lifetime Job In Automotive Service above filmed by Burton Holmes Films Inc.


9 responses to “Early-1940s: Training For “Your Life Work” In Automotive Service

  1. The film was great. Thanks for posting. I guess it must be the post-Depression mentality, but I took this as “getting a job, any job is good, but this is one of the better ones.”

    It was optimistic, but didn’t sugar-coat anything was my thinking when I saw the young man washing his arms in a drum of solvent. It brought back memories of my dad’s shop and I was in my early teens. I miss that wash-up not at all.

    The other thought is that just how much repairs were done on cars before. Today’s cars seem to run on just oil and filter changes with an air and cabin filter every now and then. No adjusting the spark plug gap these days.

  2. In the days before WW II many worked with their hands in manual labor jobs. An education was not required to learn many semi-technical jobs. Today we look to machines, and the unskilled have few jobs, In Seattle it’s reported that 60% of the work is done by people sitting in chairs. Happily many of us old timers still love the smell of grease and gasoline and the feel of a tool in our hands. This was an excellent film full of nostalgia.

  3. This actually is a great little film. As quaint and/or dangerous as some of the scenes look to us now, the message is pretty accurate. An understanding of basic science is necessary to be a good mechanic. Physics, chemistry and math are in everything a mechanic does.

  4. Total lack of safety equipment, HORRORS, how did we ever make it? I never wanted to do mechanical work for a job. I think I would have burned out in no time.

  5. I get uneasy when I see someone using a lathe without any eye protection. Yeah, people got through it but there were a lot more work related injuries back then.

  6. A great little film on learning the trade. I learned via school of hard knocks. Never went to high school auto shop, although I wish I had. still, my “love/hate” relationship with cars is going strong, even at my age. What scares the hell out of me is the new “stuff” is too over engineered for my taste. This fly by wire stuff is just dumb, in my opinion, and driverless cars? I think too many folks in the auto industries are watching too much Jetsons cartoons.

  7. My dad was a mechanic and I followed him around like a puppy, asking countless questions. I guess it paid off. I developed a knack for anything mechanical. I served four years in the Air Force in the early 60’s, when I took the aptitude test I tested against 11 men, I scored higher than any of the men with a 97%. I ended up as a jet engine mechanic.

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