Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chain Lube . . . Russia?? 1896 Product

Getting advice on what to use to lubricate a chain on a bicycle is interesting - people usually have pretty strong views and they are typically all over the place. This guy's review is fairly low-key although he builds a fairly typical level of enthusiasm for his particular favorite, but at least he runs through an analysis that makes sense.

The ad below, from 1896, is interesting since the product claims to be "the only chain lube on the market - by which they mean the only "dedicated chain lube" product, not used otherwise for something else.

Russia Chain Lub
Ad for Russia chain lube

from "The Referee and Cycle Trade Journal: a Weekly Record and Review of Cycling and the Cycle Trade." Volume 17, Number 1 - May 7, 1896.
Full volume of issues
Russia Chain Lubricant Use the Best - It is the Cheapest
Improvement is the order of the day
The only chain lubricrant on the market. Will not soil the hands or clothes, keeps the chain bright and clean. As a lubricant it is superior to any Graphite on the market. Can be handled with a kid glove. It positively will not gather dust, and will save wear on the chain and sprocket wheel.

"Ha ha, you're a sight! Why don't you use Russia Chain Lube, same as I do?"

"I will hereafter. No more graphite for me!"
So the main advantage of this product is that it goes on clean, unlike graphite. And then a bit of comparative advantage in lubrication is claimed too, why not.

I can't imagine why it was called "Russia" chain lube . . .

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