There ain't much up around Upham, North Dakota.  As a matter of fact, on a program like Map Quest, the closer you scroll your cursor to Upham's location, the less things you find near it. Northeast of Minot, the high prairie is the perfect motivation for inventors that needed to run to the store for snacks.

The Williston Herald was kind enough to introduce us to Andy Freeman, born to our frigid fields back in 1909. In the story, Andy is quoted as always being interested in how people would go about starting their cars in the winter.  It seems Upham's Postman actually drained his oil every night and brought it inside to keep it warm!  So Inventive Andy kept thinking of ways to keep the engine warm enough to actually turn over on a freezing February morning.

 It was around 1940 that Freeman decided to find a better way. He found some copper tubing in a pile of rubble and put it together with a heating element from an old iron.

Of course, all Andy's neighbors were sure powerful jealous and wanted him to make similar contraptions for them all.  So he did. And Andy did this according to Wikipedia..

He served as general manager of Minnkota Power Cooperative from 1940 to 1982.

US patent 2487326, A. L. Freeman, "Electric Internal-Combustion Engine Head Bolt Heater", issued 1949-11-08

I'm including the patent so we can all see how it's titled Head Bolt Heater and not Block Heater.  Just so we're straight on that.

What, you expected South Dakota? That's like the banana belt down there. Now Upham, ND on the other hand...very cold.  I once went up to Kramer, ND in February to get a puppy dog. Desolate.

Last week my brother in law brought his 70's pickup battery inside.  A day later, it finally started!  But, he also had it plugged in.  Thanks Andy!



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