Video: The Water Boy, A 1936 Chevrolet Film

This water boy movie does not have Adam Sandler in it, but there are a couple instances of Captain Insano running around. Like most of the Jam Handy Chevrolet feature films, it takes three minutes to get to the subject matter of the film. However, the first three minutes of these films offer a decent look at a time long gone. The depression era way of life for many people just prior to the outset of the second war to end all wars.

Once the subject is introduced, these features actually do a great job of discussing automotive topics that were not as common as they are today. Most common folk didn’t understand the technology behind engine technology such as the oil and water systems.

Using early forms of animation, the Jam Handy film team were able to explain tough concepts to people with basic education, or none at all. We are amazed at the creativity of the film team, taking a saucer and creating a virtual radiator for the viewers. It may be a stretch today, but in the 1930s, this was as cutting edge as you could get.

Even if the common person understood the cooling theory of water-cooled engines, most probably wouldn’t have understood the efficiency of a heated engine. The directional control of the water flow is covered, much to our surprise. We didn’t really think that water flow control and direction were fully recognized until the 1960s, but this film shows that directional control was a concern much earlier.

Thankfully, the Prelinger Archives has maintained these old films for us to enjoy and learn what automotive life was like in the early years.

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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