Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Soap Box Derby

This is a picture of a Soapbox Derby in 1940. You can see that it looks like one contestant is beginning his coast down the hill. I think it is sad that there is not much of this type of thing any more. Everyone is too busy, and parents just buy kids a new video game instead of really spending time on things like building a soapbox racer.


  1. Always fun ... In my old high-school, some 15 years ago, we had one such race as part of a weekend jamboree. The plan was to race two at a time on a rather steep incline near the school, but after seeing the contraptions and the (rather scary) incline the teachers wisely decided to change the rules and have the competition on a flat strip with someone pushing each racer. While I support the reasons, my team had a rather large and heavy vehicle, so while we'd be ok on the incline, we did not fare well on the flat. But we had lots of fun nonetheless :-)

  2. I've been enjoying this week's set of old pictures.

    My pop won the local Soap Box Derby back in 1941 and after his parents/my grandparents passed away, my wife and I bought their small house. I was cleaning out a backyard storage building and spied a manila envelope, very nearly the same color as the age stained sheetrock. I fished it out and found a lot of newspaper clippings about his win here and trip to Akron, Ohio. I forget the particulars, but the officials made him change his car's wheels and Dad always maintained that since they weren't broken in, it cost him his first race with the new wheels. After Dad passed away, my sisters took the album I had made w/ the clippings, his trophy and other related items. Several yrs. before that, I had managed to rescue a SBD book he had received for being a natl. participant because of my mom overlooking it in a bookcase they were leaving for the new owners of their lake house.

  3. Love the kid in the Boy Scout uniform.

    I remember as a kid trying to build a 'foot powered' cart. Not much success, having to use just the old lumber and things found lying around.

  4. Now having any sons, my husband helped the young man up the street from us build what could loosely be called a motorized vehicle. I think they used an old lawn mower motor, but the brake was a cinderblock tied to the chassis with a rope. When you wanted to stop, you "threw out the anchor". The traffic on our street is too heavy now for that sort of thing, but I know the two of them had a grand time making that contraption.

    1. Picturing that stop gave me my laugh for the day. Thank you!

  5. Our small rural town still holds a soapbox derby for our Summerfest celebration at the end of August. I have not attended, so I don't know how many folks it attracts, but it is nice to see it offered.
    -Anne K.


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