Monday, February 19, 2018
Saturday, February 10, 2018
This morning I found some interesting historical information in the Dayton Daily News Wheels section. The article was by Larry Printz entitled "4 New Car Features that aren't Necessarily cutting edge." A more complete source, as I discovered, was published in 2012 and is reproduced below.
Taken from the Saturday Evening Post website:
The First GPS: High-Tech Navigation in 1909
Thursday, February 8, 2018
A History of Driver Education in the US: Images from the First Version of "Sportsmanlike Driving," Late 1930s
|Habit was at the heart of how one learned to drive during the early 1930s.|
|The prevailing thought of the 1930s was that the responsibility for accidents lay in the hands the driver, not the car or its design.|
|Pedestrian safety was a major concern during the 1930s, as cars began to dominate the street and its rules and regulations. One did not want to be a "jaywalker."|
These images were taken from the AAA Driver Education Booklet entitled "The Driver," first published in 1936. See my paper on "Making a Nation of Drivers" for a detailed explanation providing context for these images. Over the course of the next 5 decades the images contained in Sportsmanlike Driving would change edition to edition, reflective to a degree of a shift in thought concerning the automobile and American life.
Friday, February 2, 2018
A contribution from Ed Garten:
John, you may find this story interesting: In summer 1957 my parents were separated pending a final divorce. My grandfather Garten loaned my mother a car from his used car lot -- a 1951 Packard with the Ultra-matic transmission. I was only 9 years old but I still remember every detail of that car. Mother took my sister and me to the State Fair of West Virginia about 40 miles from home and as we were going down a very long hill into Lewisburg, West Virginia, the brakes on the Packard went out.
My mother screamed at me: "What should I do?" Of course as a nine year old I had no idea other than to yell at her "pump the brakes, pump the brakes." Which did no good as the petal went to the floor (those Packards had pedals that went through the floor as opposed to later cars with suspected pedals.
Clearly a brake line had burst or the master cylinder had gone out........but my mother hit a telephone pole at the end of the hill -- likely going 50 miles an hour. My sister was int he back seat and she went over the seat hitting her head on the hard metal dash and my head missed a protruding radio knob by about an inch. One more inch to the left and I would have died for sure. The car was demolished. We three were taken to the local hospital -- all three safe but really beat up.
But today, I was searching some newspaper archives online and actually found the car that my grandfather had loaned my mother -- that 51 Packard -- which he had listed for sale for $295. Yes, two-hundred and ninety-five dollars. If you can bring up this PDF I formatted, look toward the lower left and you'll see an advertisement for Garten Motors in April 1975 -- there are a bunch of used cars all listed for sale for $295 and the Packard that I might have died in is first on the list.
Two weeks from today I will turn 70 years old -- but for luck or the hand of God, I lived 61 years beyond that old Packard. Great story, hey?
|a 1951 Packard 200 -- not Ed's mother nor the way his car looked!|