Eight Winter Driving Ads from the Early 20th Century

Early January’s sci-fi-sounding ‘polar vortex’ dropped thermometers well below zero and dumped countless tons of snow from New Mexico to Maine. Flights were cancelled, power lines went down, and across the country, road travel became either impractical or impossible.

In short, it was sucked for drivers, but you might draw comfort from how much more comfortable winter driving has become in the past few decades. Heaters, defrosters, and even closed roofs were novelties in cars, as you’ll see in these advertisements from the The Saturday Evening Post and our sister publication, the former Country Gentleman.


You know it’s cold when you invent a way to electrocute yourself to stay warm.

1917 Steer Warms

Winter on the outside… Living room on the inside!

1921 Perfection Heaters

Once upon a time, closed-roof cars were pretty novel.

1922 Essex

“The heat is there — Why not use it?”

1924 Perfection Heaters

It’s just like sitting by the fireplace…

1926 Francisco Heater

Again, the fireplace promise of “living room comfort” in your car.

1935 Ford Heater

Who knows what this “Weather Eye” does?

1938 Nash WeatherEye

When the roads are rough — Why not just fly?

1950 United Aircraft