Carl Bohland’s Auto Wash Bowl

Carl Bohland patented the auto wash bowl in 1921. His idea was that cars would drive into a large, concrete bowl filled with water. After a couple of times around the bowl, the cars would be clean. Or, at least, cleaner.

Bohland managed to open a few auto wash bowls. The problem, however, was that his technique only really cleaned the underside of the cars. This was useful back in the days when many roads were still unpaved and their undersides constantly got filthy. But as road conditions improved, the auto wash bowl became less useful. By the 1930s, the last one had closed.

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     Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 11, 2020
     Category: Inventions | Patents | 1920s | Cars

The auto wash for the undercarriage is not dead. The wash services I used in Minnesota (and possibly other northern tier states) offered a spray section of the drive-in that worked at blasting the salt deposits that accumulated during winter. I'm not sure that it really made a difference in the longevity of the autos since you didn't see many cars over five years of age on the road.
Posted by KDP on 10/11/20 at 10:06 AM
All automatic car washes in Sweden have an undercarriage option.
Posted by F.U.D in Stockholm on 10/12/20 at 08:09 AM
Streets get used to be barnyards besides being used as sewers & trash cans by the filthy. You would like to wash off all the biologicals regularly to hold the flies down.
Posted by John on 10/14/20 at 10:00 AM
I’m sure this also got the **insides** of the cars clean too, unintentionally.
Posted by Brian on 10/14/20 at 02:40 PM
Looks like it would be fun, anyway.
Posted by Richard Bos on 10/17/20 at 01:47 PM
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