Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln Highway’

Books sharing auto history

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

As some of you might know, we’ve been feverishly working on publishing and republishing three books sharing auto history. They focus on travel in the early days of the automobile.

Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Journey

Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Journey

Our new book, Hoosier Tour, examines how the 1913 Indiana Automobile Manufacturers’ Association Indiana-Pacific Tour helped generate interest for building roads, like the proposed Ocean-to-Ocean Rock Highway later to be known as the Lincoln Highway. At that time, the IAMA Tour was one of the largest continental tours attempted in the United States. One of the trek’s primary goals was to draw attention to the need for road improvements.

They envisioned a national system of good roads that could tie the country from coast to coast. They only had to convince the rest of the country.

Hoosier Tour chronicles this trip and provides a glimpse into the hardships and accomplishments they encountered along the way.

More on: Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Journey

Tales of a Pathfinder

Tales of a Pathfinder

This republished version of the 1921 Tales of a Pathfinder is a beautifully bound chronicle of a true pioneer of early automotive history. Westgard recounts his many adventures in his role as trailblazer for the Good Roads Movement.

“Daniel Boone of the Gasoline Age” is an apt way to describe Anton L. Westgard. He was one of the pioneers who helped build the foundation for automotive travel. Without the pathfinding excursions of Westgard and others like him, the way west would be a tangle of buffalo traces and weed infested country lanes.

In the early part of the 20th century, U.S. highways and byways were in deplorable shape. Rains drenched the dirt roads and often left a gumbo-like substance making travel by cart or car nearly impossible.

Tales of a Pathfinder is Westgard’s own story and impressions as he wrote them in 1920.

More on: Tales of a Pathfinder

Motor Manners

Motor Manners

This beautifully bound republished version of Motor Manners provides Emily Post’s advice and rules for highway safety. After all, according to Post, “bad motoring manners can be murder.”

Even years after her death, Emily Post is still known as the resource to consult on etiquette in polite society. Her reputation was cemented in history in 1921 when her Book on Etiquette was first published. From that springboard, she developed a syndicated newspaper on etiquette carried by newspapers throughout the United States.

Eventually the National Highway Users Conference approached her to share her advice about motoring on the highways. The result was the pamphlet entitled Motor Manners published in 1949. Although the underlying purpose was to promote highway safety, perhaps the group thought that the influx of female drivers on the road after World War II would respond better to a list of manners rather than a set of rules from a driver’s manual.

This booklet is the republished version of Post’s original writing. The inside pages consist of her advice to the motorists of the 1950’s.

More on: Motor Manners

We’ve enjoyed the work of researching, writing, and publishing these books. It is our wish that you will enjoy these stories about travel in an earlier era. Enjoy the drive!

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We’re writing a book on the 1913 Hoosier Tour

Monday, August 5th, 2013

As many of you know, for the past few months we have been working on our book Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Journey. This book documents the 1913 Indiana Automobile Manufacturers’ Association Indiana-Pacific Tour.


Hoosier Tour cover

We have known about the IAMA Tour for a number of years and decided to share this story of Hoosier ingenuity during its centennial year. This book examines how the 1913 IAMA Tour served as a model of promoting Indiana-built automobiles and generating interest for building roads, like the proposed Ocean-to-Ocean Rock Highway later to be known as the Lincoln Highway. This road was the impetus to the start of our federal highway system.

Previously all roads were developed and maintained by local governments. The first transcontinental highway, the Lincoln Highway, showed the federal government the opportunities brought by linking good roads from coast to coast. We were to arise from the mud onto paved roadways.

Today we can dash across interstates, from city to city, state to state. This modern-day convenience owes a great deal of thanks to the 1913 IAMA excursion.

We urge you to follow our book launch process as we bring this story to fruition.

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Celebrating the Hoosier Tour

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

The Indiana Region of the Classic Car Club of America celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Indiana Automobile Manufacturers’ Association Indiana-Pacific Tour on July 1st.

The celebration featured vintage cars, biographical author Jerry M. Fisher, character actor Jeff Kuehl as Carl Fisher, and Carl Fisher’s 1914 Packard roadster that paced the 1915 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.


Carl G. Fisher’s 1914 Packard

Carl G. Fisher’s 1914 Packard

Copyright © 2013 Dennis E. Horvath

Before lunch three vintage 1914 autos gathered in front of the Athenaeum for a photo opportunity of the nearly 100 year old vehicles. One of these autos was Carl Fisher’s original unrestored custom roadster. This car sported many unique features along with a custom body. Next was an American Underslung six-passenger touring car from the company’s last year in business. This American represented the top end of the company’s product line. The other car was a Cole five-passenger touring car. Coles were advertised as “The Standardized Car,” indicating that they were “the standard for quality in the industry.” The last two cars were Indianapolis-built on South Meridian St. and East Washington St. respectively.

The luncheon presentations by the “two Fishers” featured the significance of the 1913 IAMA Tour and how it served as a model for developing the Lincoln Highway. Jerry Fisher calls Carl Fisher the forgotten man from the early part of the twentieth century.


1914 American

1914 American Underslung

Copyright © 2013 Dennis E. Horvath

After lunch everyone commenced the 40-mile reenactment of the first day’s drive of the 1913 IAMA Tour in western Indiana on the way to the west coast. No one was daunted by the light showers as we ambled across the National Road to the Clay County courthouse in Brazil. Our afternoon ended with dinner at the Lake House Restaurant in Staunton.

Thanks to Carol and Larry Pumphrey of the IN Region CCCA for planning this centennial event and celebrating Hoosier auto pioneer Carl G. Fisher.


1914 Cole

Dennis Horvath & Beauford Hall

with his 1914 Cole

Copyright © 2013 Dennis E. Horvath

For more information about the 1913 Indiana Automobile Manufacturers’ Association Indiana-Pacific Tour click here. For more about Hoosier auto pioneer Carl G. Fisher click here.

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What was happening in Indianapolis on July 1, 1913?

Monday, June 24th, 2013

At 2 pm, on July 1, 1913, more 70 people and 20 Indiana-built cars and trucks gathered around the south side of University Park in Indianapolis for the departure of the Indiana Automobile Manufacturers’ Association Indiana-Pacific Tour. At the time, the IAMA Tour was one of the largest transcontinental tours attempted in the United States.


Haynes & Gilbreath

Elwood Haynes, president of Haynes Automobile Company
conversing with W. S. Gilbreath, secretary of the Hoosier
Motor Club at University Park

The 1913 IAMA Tour was designed to promote Indiana-built automobiles to the larger market outside of the Midwest and to generate interest for building better roads. The reawakening Good Roads Movement members felt that the auto industry would only grow when travel by road was made easier. But, investment in roads would only occur when people showed more interest in the automobile industry. IAMA members envisioned a way to help make that happen – a cross country tour to build the country’s interest in automobiles, particularly Indiana’s products, and better roads.

When the IAMA Tour left Indianapolis on July 1, 1913, the Hoosier tourists experienced numerous thunderstorms, crossing the Rocky Mountains and the Western deserts in primitive automobiles that are hard to imagine 100 years later. The tour took 34 days to cover the 3,600 miles and allow for propaganda work and sociability. They passed through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. Nearly every vehicle accomplished this trek and arrived in Los Angeles after never being more than 24 hours behind schedule.


Marmon No. 22

The Lincoln Highway sponsored Marmon was one of the
tour participants that made it to California.
Left to Right: Capt. Robert Tyndall, Carl G. Fisher,
Charles A. Bookwalter, and Heine Scholler.

The 1913 IAMA Indiana-Pacific Tour served as a model of promoting Indiana-built automobiles and generating interest for building roads, like the proposed Ocean-to-Ocean Rock Highway, later to be known as the Lincoln Highway. This road was the impetus to the start of our Federal Highway System.

Previously all roads were developed and maintained by local governments. The first transcontinental highway, the Lincoln Highway, showed the federal government the opportunities brought by linking good roads from coast to coast. We were to arise from the mud onto paved roadways.


Henderson No. 4

Ray Harroun in the Henderson Motor Car entry
at California State Capitol in Sacramento

Today we can dash across interstates, from city to city, state to state. This modern-day convenience owes a great deal of thanks to the 1913 IAMA Indiana-Pacific Tour.

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Lincoln Highway Centennial Celebration is now mainstream

Monday, March 4th, 2013

It’s now official. Per the March 1st edition of USA Today, The Lincoln Highway Centennial Celebration in Kearny, NB, is worth planning a trip around.

Why is this celebration significant? Fifty years before the Interstate Highway System was enacted, the Lincoln Highway, America’s first transcontinental highway, was proposed. Within three years of the founding of the Lincoln Highway Association, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, the first of many that would eventually see the highways of America built.

Some have called the Lincoln Highway “America’s Main Street.” It encouraged travel to communities with stops in hotels, mom and pop restaurants, and local tourist attractions. The Interstate Highway System wrought the demise of leisurely travel along these byways.


Studebaker at Kearney, Nebraska 1915

Studebaker at Kearney, Nebraska 1915

This summer the Lincoln Highway Association is hosting the Lincoln Highway Centennial Celebration in Kearney, NB, June 30 – July 1, 2013. Kearney is conveniently located on the Lincoln Highway in the center of the country, 1733 miles from Boston and 1733 miles from San Francisco.

On Saturday, June 29, two auto caravans will converge on Kearney, one from New York and the other from San Francisco. On Sunday, events will kick-off in downtown Kearney, five blocks will come to life celebrating the 1910s to 1950s. The celebration continues at the Great Platt River Road Archway, a world-class attraction about the routes that opened the West, on Monday. Check out www.visitkearney.org or www.lincolnhighway.org for more information.

Closer to home, Indiana’s part in the Lincoln Highway Centennial Celebration will take place when the Centennial Auto Caravan from New York tours the Lincoln Highway with an overnight stop in South Bend, on Wednesday, June 26. The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association invites you to come to the Studebaker National Museum to visit with the tourists for dinner at 6:30 pm and a self-guided tour of the museum. This should be a once-in-a-lifetime-event. For more information on this event visit www.indianalincolnhighway.org

I concur with USA Today and invite you experience some of these festivities celebrating the Lincoln Highway Centennial.

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Hi all you roadies:

Monday, February 25th, 2013

As many of you may know, I have been selected to present at the 99th Annual Purdue Road School. My presentation “Lincoln Highway Centennial and the Birth of the Federal Highway System” is on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 11:00 am. I invite you to come and see how Carl G. Fisher and the Lincoln Highway Association got us out of the mud and on to modern paved highways.


99th Annual Purdue Road School

Here is the information brochure.

Online pre-registration is available here.

I look forward to seeing some of my roadie friends at this event.

Dennis

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Lincoln Highway Event Rates “Wow”

Monday, September 24th, 2012

I have to say, Wow! What an incredible experience for this weekend’s Indiana Lincoln Highway Association’s Centennial Event. A group of Lincoln Highway enthusiasts from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois gathered in Indianapolis to celebrate the centennial of the announcement of the nation’s first transcontinental highway at the Athenaeum in Indianapolis.

We kicked-off our celebration at the James A. Allison, Carl G. Fisher, and Frank H. Wheeler’s mansions along millionaire row on the Marian University campus. We got an inside look at these 100 year-old time capsules of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, automotive, and transportation founders. I intend to visit the campus again for further exploration. Thanks to Deborah Lawrence for hosting us.


Allison Mansion

Allison Mansion
Copyright ©2012 Dennis E. Horvath

On Friday afternoon we continued with an Auto Pioneer Burial Site Tour at Crown Hill Cemetery nestled along the Dixie Highway. Auto pioneers Carl G. Fisher and Louis Schwitzer are buried on Strawberry Hill near James Whitcomb Riley, President Benjamin Harrison, and Eli Lilly. Later, we toured the Stutz Motor Car Company complex on Capitol Avenue to view some automobiles built in the building from 1912 -1935. Building proprietor Turner J. Woodard has autos ranging from a Stutz Bearcat to a Stutz Pak-Age-Car. Everyone enjoyed his and Anne Jester’s hospitality.

Our Saturday morning, Auto Pioneers Tour visited some mansions along Meridian Street and Fall Creek Parkway. We then continued along Indianapolis’ Automobile Row on North Capitol and auto manufacturing sites around the belt railroads circling the city. Our morning tour finished, with some shopping along Massachusetts Avenue.

Our luncheon celebrated the centennial of Carl Fisher’s and James Allison’s announcement of the Lincoln Highway at the Athenaeum on September 10, 1912. Everyone enjoyed character speaker Jeff Kuehl who addressed the group as Carl Fisher. We were transported to 1912 as Fisher elaborated on his thoughts about automobiling across the country.


Athenaeum

Athenaeum
Copyright ©2012 Dennis E. Horvath

After lunch, we went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum to see Fisher’s custom-built 1903 Premier racer designed for the Vanderbilt Cup Race and the Fisher-era Stoddard-Dayton. It seems like every time I visit the museum that there is something new to study. Everyone gathered around one of the racers for a group photo. Who is that mystery driver? Our afternoon finished up by touring by the Prest-O-Lite and Allison Engineering factories on Main Street in Speedway.


LH Centennial Event

Lincoln Highway Centennial Event
Copyright ©2012 Dennis E. Horvath

It is interesting how this part of Indianapolis’ business and social heritage started about 120 years ago when Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, and Arthur C. Newby met while being members of the Zig-Zag Cycling Club during the 1890’s bicycle craze. Their friendships went on to form the genesis for ventures like the Fisher Automobile Company, Prest-O-Lite Company, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Lincoln Highway, the Dixie Highway, the development of Miami Beach, Allison Engineering Company, Allison Transmission, Indianapolis Stamping Company (the predecessor of today’s Diamond Chain Company), and National Automobile Company. These men and their ideas have brought employment and enjoyment to tens of thousand’s of individuals through the years.

Much new information and camaraderie was shared by all tour participants. It will take many days for the special feeling of this event to wear off. I can’t wait until the next Indiana Lincoln Highway Association event to discover some more new experiences.

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The nation’s first transcontinental highway was proposed at the Athenaeum in Indianapolis

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Did you know that the nation’s first transcontinental highway was proposed at the Athenaeum in Indianapolis? Check my article at HistoricIndianapolis.com to find out more.

Athenaeum 1910

Athenaeum 1910 © Indiana Historical Society

If you are interested in learning more about the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association’s Centennial Celebration of Carl Fisher’s announcement, peruse the Event Flyer. Happy motoring.

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Indiana Lincoln Highway Association Events

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association has two upcoming events to suit your two-lane road adventures. The first is the Indiana Landmarks’ Lincoln Highway Adventure and Moveable Feast on July 21, 2012, and the other is the Centennial Kickoff Celebration event in Indianapolis on September 21-22, 2012.


Lincoln Highway Adventure

Lincoln Highway Adventure
Copyright ©2012 Indiana Lincoln Highway Association

The Indiana Landmarks’ Lincoln Highway Adventure will explore the historic Lincoln Highway Byway’s 1913 route through St. Joseph, Elkhart, and Noble Counties on July 21, 2012. The adventure is a partnership of the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association and Indiana Landmarks.

This year, adventurers will follow the highway east from South Bend through scenic landscapes; explore historic sites, and enjoy dining and shopping in towns along the route, including Mishawaka, Elkhart, Goshen, Ligonier, Kimmell, and Wolf Lake. They will end the day in Ligonier, where the Movable Feast showcases landmarks including the 1889 Ahavas Sholom Temple, 1899 Solomon Mier House, 1839 Stone’s Trace Historic Site, 1879 Kimmell House, and 1930 Luckey Hospital Museum.

Each registered vehicle will receive an Adventure Bag with a dash plaque, discount coupons, and Adventure Passport Booklet containing information about sites along the route with turn-by-turn directions. Check in via FourSquare or stay connected through your other favorite social media during the adventure. The Lincoln Highway Adventure welcomes families, car clubs and caravans.

For more information, contact Indiana Landmarks’ Northern Regional Office, 574-232-4534, north@indianalandmarks.org, or the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association website http://indianalincolnhighway.org. Buy tickets to the adventure and the Movable Feast online at http://adventure2012.eventbrite.com/

The Lincoln Highway Centennial Kickoff Celebration in Indianapolis on September 21-22, 2012, is your chance to experience the place where it all began…inspired by Hoosier visionary Carl G. Fisher. The event features two days of festivities relating to Fisher’s announcement of the country’s first transcontinental highway in September 1912.


Lincoln Highway Centennial Kickoff

Lincoln Highway Centennial Kickoff
Copyright ©2012 Indiana Lincoln Highway Association

On Friday, Sept. 21st: Tours include the Carl Fisher and James Allison Estates at Marian University, visit to Crown Hill Cemetery to auto industrialist gravesites and tour of the historic Stutz Building. Optional IMAX film on historic roads in Indiana is in the evening at the Indiana State Museum, along with a book signing by Indiana auto historians/historic roads authors.

On Saturday, Sept. 22nd: A morning Indiana Auto Pioneer Tour interpreted by auto historian Dennis E. Horvath; a historic recreation of the luncheon at the Athenaeum, where Carl G, Fisher announced his vision for America’s first transcontinental road; Jeff Kuehl as Carl G. Fisher, The Father of the Lincoln Highway; and a unique Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway-built by Carl G. Fisher and three business partners.

For more information, contact Indiana Lincoln Highway Association Office, 574-210-6278. See the event registration form, www.IndianaLincolnHighway.org.

I feel that these are two excellent opportunities to experience some Indiana Lincoln Highway adventures. I look forward to welcoming you to Indianapolis on September 21 & 22. Come join the fun.

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Lincoln Highway Day in La Porte Indiana

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Terri and I had an enjoyable Lincoln Highway Day in La Porte Indiana. The events surrounding the day centered on our mission to share automotive history with others.

We attended the Lincoln Highway Kiosk Dedication on the plaza in front of the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce at 803 Washington Street. The kiosk was developed by Indiana Lincoln Highway Association members in cooperation with a number of La Porte area sponsors.

La Porte area natives Jim Bevins and Fred Sachtleben were recognized for their tireless efforts conceptualizing and constructing the kiosk. This is an outstanding example of a community effort developing an educational resource for future generations.


Jim & Fred at La Porte, Indiana Lincoln Highway Kiosk

Jim & Fred at La Porte,
Indiana Lincoln Highway Kiosk
Copyright © 2012 Dennis E. Horvath

The interpretative panel on the north side of the kiosk depicts the impact of the Lincoln Highway in La Porte County. Two famous restaurants from the 1910’s and 1920’s still serve patrons along the highway: B & J’s American Café and Jennie Rae’s. The Hotel Rumley that paid special attention to automobile parties has been renovated into apartments. One early photo shows autos and interurbans along Lincoln Way. Other photos feature vignettes of life along the highway in the first-half of the twentieth century.

The south side interpretative panel shares the early history of the Lincoln Highway: America’s First Paved Coast-To-Coast Highway. The idea for the highway was proposed by Indiana auto entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher in September 1912. Today with our modern interstate highways it is hard to imagine what travel was like 90 years ago. At the time, less than 10% the country’s roads were paved, and suburban travel was only attempted in fair weather. These photographs and documentation provide a glimpse into development of the highway and travel across it in the early days. I still marvel at the photos and stories of motorists attempting to cross country on muddy and deeply rutted roads.


The Munson Factory

The Munson Factory
Copyright © La Porte County Historical Society

La Porte also shares an interesting link to our early automotive history with the demonstration of a Munson hybrid runabout on April 25, 1898. The Munson Company, the recognized builder of America’s first gasoline-electric hybrid automobile, was located on the south-east corner of the street, just south of the kiosk. Munson built four vehicles and demonstrated them for two years across northwest Indiana and Chicago, but failed to produce further vehicles for sale.

I enjoy being involved with groups like the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association which develop sites, materials, and events to share our auto heritage. I invite you to travel Indiana’s two Lincoln Highway routes today. Check back with the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association often for more developments regarding the Lincoln Highway in Indiana. We’re continuing to develop additional materials and events for you.

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