Time was, you could buy special hot patches that actually vulcanized a rubber patch on an inner tube. The patches came as small open container that held a combustible material within it, and a special patch on the bottom. Using a special clamp, you held the container with the patch against the tube, lit the material, got out of the way while it sparked and smoked, and, voila, your tube was patched. The most common makes were Shaler, Camel (Egan Mfg. Co.) and Victor. They were also made by the Better Monkey Grip Company of Dallas. In the 1920's, the cost of a vulcanizer and 12 patches was $1.60. This was probably quite a deal, as tires and tubes were frequently punctured by horse shoe nails. Over the years, hot patches have put me back on the road when travelling on British bikes. The patches are no longer available due to government over-regulation except, curiously enough, in Columbia, South America.
|J.H. Ashdown Hardware Co., Ltd., Winnipeg. 1953/1954 catalogue|