Skeeter Smudge Pots

Here is a neat little project, doesn’t cost a lot of cash, it is easy to do, can do it all in one weekend, and best of all, it works!  Unfortunately, it kind of dates me a little and that isn’t all that cool.  I remember them from the fifties, there were called Smudge Pots.  Clifford said “he never saw any that were red, and he is right, I painted mine.”  Some of you might remember them, and the younger guys, well, here is the gist of it.

My wife and I watch this program quite a bit called “Pickers.” It is about two guys who drive around and they pick thru other peoples stuff, and try to talk them out of it, so that they can sell it later.  Another one that always rows my boat is Restoration, which is some guy named Rick in Las Vegas who is really into old stuff.  We have a much different term for it, we call it “junking.”

(I can hear my bride as I type this … GARAGE SALE! GARAGE SALE …. MAKE A YOUIE!)

These guys find the neatest junk. They always manage to sell it for a profit too. I find that a little less than truthful, but then again, “that is television for you” truly a dishonest medium and most always a tad bit less than truthful when it comes to the storyline.

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” is what Mama used to say. Now the old man, he would put it much differently, he would say: “It’s too valuable to throw away and it isn’t worth a dime when you go to sell it.”

Two opposing viewpoints.

Junking is fun, and it keeps me out of the beer-joints, so it is a “win-win-situation.” We have never discovered the painting with the original Declaration of Independence on the back like you see on Oprah, but we sometimes stumble onto some neat stuff. (On one trip, in Wyoming, we stopped at this little store and I purchased some Coca Cola bottle openers. Later on, I took them to a Coke novelty store in Okie City and discovered my $8 purchase was an original and worth $144.00!)

We occasionally find a nugget or a little treasure when we junk on the weekends or on a trip.  A friend of mine just emailed me this week about an old 32 Roadster he found sitting in a barn, rumble seat and all, and it runs!  I saw an old time gasoline pump in a yard last week, and was wondering if they might want to sell it?  There are items to be had out there, you just have to search ‘em out.

This time it was smudge pots, now I am not all that sure about the technical name, but when I was a kid, they were called that.  If you are fortunate to find some, in reasonably good shape, they clean up rather nice. (Be forewarned this is messy work and not much fun, but in the end they are worth it).  With the EPA and the Green Movement, I don’t imagine they are much in use anymore, replaced by electrical battery operated safety devices long ago.

Back in the fifties you saw them everywhere on construction sites, cement work, road construction. They usually were filled with kerosene if my memory serves me right. In this case, I filled them with this stuff they sell at China-Mart for backyard Tiki Lanterns (Citronella oil or something like that). We are going to use them for mosquito protection. One last thing: If you need to replace the wicks they can be found at Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can also make some out of cotton-type rope.

Scratch ‘em up real good, paint ‘em and then find a suitable tool box to store them in (mine came from Lowe’s – less than $25) and you are off to the races!

Best part, “no mosquitoes hanging around the bus in the parking area.”  If your not inclined to do the paintwork and the messy stuff, you can purchase them online here on the Internet for all you smart shoppers, here is the link:  Sporty’s Smudge Pots  But then again, that kind of takes a lot of fun out of it for me, half the fun is finding ’em junked out, and then bringing them back to life.

Good hunting …



One thought on “Skeeter Smudge Pots

  1. My husband and I like to watch those shows too! They should come over to my house! I have a stone axe found on my great grandfathers farm that is, according to the University of MO..10,000 years old. It weights over 30 pounds and I can’t for the life of me see some guy putting that huge thing on a stick and swinging it.

    It would kill a 400 pound man if he got hit with it. Makes a pretty good door stop.

    Smudge Pot…good to know!
    Nice little inexpensive project and it works too.



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