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Snow Tire Rush Time at Frisby the Vulcanizer

Tire shops on the day or the morning after the first couple of snow storms in the northern states and Canada turn into a mob scene as car owners flock to their favorite tire shop to have snow tires put on their vehicle. This image was taken in the early-to-mid-1960s of the Frisby Tire Co. which is still active and located in Ottawa, Canada, shows just how crazy it can be as procrastinating drivers have their snow tire service performed.

For the benefit of younger readers wondering what vulcanizing means, it is a process of using heat, a bonding compound and pressure to attach rubber to rubber or metal. In the old days, a vulcanizer was used to repair tires and tubes or to attach a new tread to a tire casing.

Share with us what you find of interest in this scene by viewing the enlargeable photograph (below) found by contributor Benjamin Ames.

20 responses to “Snow Tire Rush Time at Frisby the Vulcanizer

  1. Is that a ’59 Rambler with a continental kit to the right?

    The VW bus waiting in line also caught my eye. One wonders if it had the auxiliary gasoline heater.

  2. “Used snow tires, $3.00 and up”,,,sigh. The ’58(?) Chrysler, already donning snow tires, is suffering from late 50’s Chrysler quality, sagging rear springs and the passenger door won’t close.

  3. Less obvious than the dark Chevy…look at the 62-63 (probably a ’62) Ford to the left or the 63 Chevy ahead of the dark one. What year is the Dart?
    And isn’t that a ’57 Plymouth to the right?

    What’s the timeframe hiding by the newest car seen 63?

  4. Up front in the street, a ’58 Chrysler Saratoga 2-door HT, behind it a ’59 Ambassador Country Club HT, followed by a ’63 Pontiac Laurentian 4-door sedan (appears to have the chrome drip rail vs a Strato Chief).
    Over to the left a ’62 Galaxie or Galaxie/500, a ’62 Chevy Bel Air sedan and a ’63 or ’64 Valiant Signet sedan

  5. ’58 Chrysler Saratoga in the lower right. I love the Exner era! Newest car in the first picture appears to be a ’63 Dodge Dart so that makes the forward look Chrysler five years old . In a snowy Northern city with salt treated roadways I can almost hear the tin worm chomping on the sheet metal.

  6. That’s a snow covered ’62 Ford Galaxie and 63 Dodge Dart next to it and finally a 62 Chevy II next to the Dart in the far left of the picture.

  7. The Dodge Dart on the left looks exactly like the 63’ black 270 4-door my parents bought brand new. When I turned 16 in 1981 it became my ride. We sold it to a Dart colllecter in 1988, wish I could post the picture of it when we sold it, it was cherry.

  8. Looking at the scene packed with cars waiting to get snow tires installed makes me wonder what the traffic flow was. How did they get the finished cars out of the way to move the next vehicles in? I don’t see a rear exit so were they spending most of the day moving cars or did they install the tires on the wheels and leave the cars where they sat? Too bad for you if you were one of the first in line as you would have to wait for all the cars behind you to leave before you could get out!

  9. If you enlarge the small picture then click on once and twice you will see a guy vulcanizing a tire and then an advertisement for the vulcanizer

  10. I’m on the west coast of Canada where it snowed 8″ last night with more snow expected tonight so the above scene at the vulcanizer in Ottawa is especially timely. For me, the most interesting thing in the above photo is not the jumble of, with the exception of the ’61 Chevy Impala, mostly mediocre cars from the era but rather the depiction of the hippopotamus on the billboard. As can be readily seen, the depiction characterizes the hippo as a friendly creature; hopefully, to inspire confidence in both the Frisby company as well as in their advertised brand of Goodyear tires. In ancient Egypt, the depiction of a man walking behind a hippo was the hieroglyph for “safety” so the combination of the Hippo with the Goodyear brand calls forth a most apt and timely, albeit ancient, association, as well.

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