Spring, summer, autumn, warmth
“I even remember that in winter we used to take hot bricks with us when travelling to Prague by our first car which did not have any heater. We would give the convent kitchen the number of people that were going beforehand and they were obliged to heat the given number of bricks. Each of us then obtained one to take along. The hot brick was enveloped into a linen bag and placed by the feet, although the heat soon vanished and the brick was just of a hindrance then. Today you just press a lever and it is warm. “
Bohumil Vít Tajovský, the Abbot of Želiv
The book of memories “The man must burn”, Torst 2001

Heater from a tailor


Engelmuller´s advertisement in Sport a hry magazine from March 25, 1908. The company attended all domestic motor shows, including the first modest exhibition in Žofín in February 1904. Chilling cold was a good business for the tailor´s shop.
When the Mladá Boleslav L&K Voiturette car made its appearance at the Prague Motor Show in April 1906, each serious potential customer must have been wondering what would the journey be like in such open car, when it gets cold. Obviously, it would be far from pleasant. In order to make it at least endurable, a little further there was a booth of „the renowned factory for leather goods, E. Engelmüller (Prague) offering the sporty leather suits of not only practical but also smart design“.

Tailor´s shops were not the only ones who vied offering gear for drivers and passengers. Also motor works started offering different kinds of windscreens, collapsible tops and leather side curtains. Even storm aprons appeared covering the whole car interior. They had openings through which drivers and passengers pulled their heads, in order to remain safe from the rain, dust and cold. The advertisement of Laurin&Klement motor works is interesting nowadays particularly by presenting “us all” in an outfit suitable for travelling by car. Everybody in the picture has a cap or hat, glasses and fur coat, or at least a coat with a fur collar. Travelling in an open car of that time meant simply to get ready for the hellish cold.

The famous idiom „to place the car on wooden blocks“ relates also to the warmth in the car, although nobody places his car on the blocks today, at that time practically everybody used to do so. When the autumn arrived, owners would place their Laurins, Pragas and Walters in the garage supporting their axles by wooden blocks, so that the car did not stand on the tyres and they would wait until May, when it gets warmer.

It was not before the mid-1920s that the situation started changing, when closed-body automobiles started prevailing over the open ones.

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