Bicycle chain lube advice, 1898

As seen in the July 1 1888 issue of League of American Wheelmen “Good Roads Bulletin.” The number is a League of American Wheelmen member number, I believe.

Chain lube advice, 1898

To secure a smooth and easy-running chain, No. 43,361 thinks there is no method equal to soaking it thoroughly in gasoline or benzine, scrubbing it clean with a stiff brush, and then boiling it in a mixture of equal parts (by measure) of beef-tallow, vaseline and plumbago. After wiping off, it is, he claims, “good for a thousand mile ride, with once in a while a little of the mixture applied to the sprocket teeth.”

Plumbago, I’m told, is an old fashioned word for graphite. Beef fat, petroleum jelly and graphite sounds like a seriously filthy mess.

One comment

  • August 8, 2013 - 7:54 am | Permalink

    Like a freshly shorn scrotum, there’s nothing smoother and more refreshing than a chain soaked in beef tallow and graphite. I highly recommend it.

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