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Carbide Shenanigans

What did young boys do for entertainment in the 1930s?

Shenanigans with carbide is what was happening in Colorado Springs for Frank and his friends. Franklin talks a lot about carbide in his book and the mischief that he and his friends got into with it. But, what is carbide and how was it used?

When Frank was young, he could go into the grocery store to buy carbide. The miners used it in their lamps. Frank and his friends used it for other mischief!

Frank tells kids, “We use to get a little piece of that carbide. Put it in an Ovaltine can. We would spit in the can to get the gases going put the lid on the top… wait, then lit a match. It was better than the 4th of July. That lid would go flying and make the best noise better than a firecracker.”

“Another time we made a hot water tank rocket. You should read about it in my book. We never did launch to the moon, but we did have a giant blow torch. Mr. Benton at the grocery, was not happy.”

“One of my favorite uses for carbide, getting out of a quiz at school! We would sneak carbide into the ink wells. They bubbled over just in time to stink up the whole classroom. Just like that…NO QUIZ!”