Re: Starting handles
All the cars I've used starting handle on had a cupped bolt on the end of the crankshaft into which you inserted the T of the handle. The had two half turn spirals ending at a flat face. You put the handle into the cup and turned it until the T piece on the end of the handle's shaft was against the flats. Now for the harder work bit, you needed to push against the compression of the engine, it wasn't that hard. The neat bit though is as soon as the engine kicks it spins the crankshaft and therefore the cup and the spirals now force the starter handle straight out with very little turning force, so no broken knee caps. I'm sure there were older versions where the kick back was an issue, I've just been lucky enough to not need to do that.
My next car also used to suffer starting problems due to needing a new battery, given the right shove it was easy to start. Even my first wife learned to just park on a slight incline facing uphill. When you needed to start, one foot out of the drivers door and push backwards and the car would start to roll backwards helped by gravity, foot on the clutch, into reverse, blip the clutch and the engine would start.
Both approaches just took practice.