Wipers Slapping Time

Posted: March 23, 2014 in Music, Sixties

wiperimagesWindshield wipers slapping time. In the sixties, when I grew up, windshield wipers sometimes did that. Most models of cars and trucks  of the age the average teenager drove was built in the ’50’s. Certainly no one had a new car. But about all of the 50’s models had what they called vacuum driven wipers. The electric wipers may have been only an option.

Wipers driven by the engine’s manifold pressure would vary in speed depending on how fast you were driving, whether you were climbing a steep grade or if you were decelerating. It depended on the load you were putting on the engine. Much of the time in city traffic the wipers didn’t move at all. A real pain in the ass but we didn’t think about it much, we just learned to use the accelerator pedal real gentle like to keep the damn things moving.

So an experienced driver with a little finesse could make the wipers do about anything he wanted.  Even the big rigs had them, the big diesels. We could even hitchhike then. Sometimes we’d thumb down one of those semis.

I think Kris Kristofferson may have done it a few times, maybe even Janis…….



  1. I didn’t know that about wipers!
    Oh! This was a fun read! 🙂
    I love that song you shared!
    I had to hitchhike a couple times in the ’80’s when my car broke down on a Southern California freeway.
    Hope you are doing well, Sneezy!
    HUGS!!! from Wheezy! 🙂


  2. Thanks Wheezy! 🙂 That is my favorite Janis Joplin song.


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