I was enjoying a visit into the past, with my twin sister, scrutinizing each picture, I had put up, of us children, on the blog, and talking about old times. Suddenly she began to point out things, in the backgrounds, that I had never noticed, and recalled a story told long ago, by both Grandma Lillie, and our mother. So here we will revisit, three pictures, I had already posted.
The story went something like this:
It seems along about 1955 or 56, my father made the purchase of a 1950 Cadillac, which you will clearly see in the following pictures. He loved this car, and took some pride in it. However, he began to lose gas from it, and very soon figured out, that someone was coming and stealing it, nearly every time he filled the tank. This made him very angry, and he determined to stop the thief, by an ingenious method. He would take a truck battery, and step up the voltage, by attaching it to a high voltage transformer, and from there, to the gas cap, which would shock the daylights out of the thief. My mother, being fearful that the current would leave the thief, permanently stuck to the back bumper, requested that he not do it. All her suggestion did however, was to have him wire an old incubator in line, which had an intermittent cutoff, and a power pole insulator, to kick the perp off the tailgate. The thief must have gotten wind of this apparatus, because no one was ever caught, or shocked, and the thieving stopped.
Up Date: After my husband, who is an electrician and I had a chat, and he viewed the pictures, he said, "You can't get a transformer, to work properly from a battery. The battery is direct current, the transformer, is alternating current. He would have to have had, an inverter." I looked at the picture's again, and sure enough, there's one in the picture, right beside the battery. My husband couldn't tell me, how much voltage this hazard was putting out, since there was no way to know the battery size, or output of the transformer, but no doubt it could give you a nasty surprise.
This leads me to the question. I wonder if my mother confused the word, "incubator", with the word, "inverter", the way she always used the word, "felonious", when she should have used the word, "erroneous"?! Thus misinforming us, of its actual construction, by her discombobulation.
Now it must be confessed, I thought little of this story, as a child, and thought it was too crazy to give much credence to. These pictures prove that the story was for real. Which brings me to this question. Was my father born stupid, or did he take lessons?! Who in their right mind, would build such a thing, with his children playing within ten feet of it?! If they had touched it, when it was hot, it could have killed them in an instant.
Cadillac's from the year 1948 - 1956, had the weird feature, of having the gas-cap located under the left rear tail-light. This made it very easy for my dad to rig up his gas thief trap, but thank God no one was ever electrocuted!
By some miracle, no one was hurt, by this insane contraption. If my dad were alive today, I would say, "What in the heck were you thinking?!!!"
Another crazy childhood story, just proven to be true. Sorry Mom, I always thought, this one must have been a windy! HOLY COW!!! You were telling the truth!