Homer Clements and the Ford Fracture

For more on Ray City History and the Clements family, see http://raycity.pbworks.com/

 News Items From Ray City
Nashville Herald, Feb 16, 1923

Mr. Homer Clements got his arm broken Friday while cranking his Ford.[1]

  Early Ford automobiles didn’t have a starter like modern cars. The engine on the Model T was started with a hand crank on the front of the car.  A wire loop near the radiator worked the choke on the carburetor to give the engine extra fuel to help start it when it was cold. This could be dangerous if a person was not careful. If the levers that controlled the engine were not set the right way, especially the spark control, a “backfire” could result, causing the engine and the crank handle to violently spin the wrong way. Many people got broken arms this way.  Doctors even had a special name for this kind of break: the “Ford Fracture.” 

Did Homer Clements seek treatment from his cousin, Dr. Henry W. Clements?  Maybe.  Dr. H.W. Clements lived in Ray City, GA and kept his medical practice there until he moved to Adel, GA in 1922.  Adel is just 10 miles west of Ray City;  Homer could have made the trip in 1923 to get his arm treated.

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