Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fun Along the Road

Christine Pyle, Manager of Historical Resources, Guest Blogger

Did you know that postcards and automobiles came on the scene about the same time?  And neither of them were too welcome.

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Postcards were seen as the end of letter writing, and on top of that – anyone could read them including the postman!!  


Laws were passed to keep automobiles off the streets, and some towns authorized the police to shoot out tires. 

Eventually the two began to be accepted and soon they were working together.  The automobile brought about new services and products, and postcards provided an inexpensive means of advertising them.

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In the early 1900s, it was unclear which method of power would dominate – gas, steam, or electric.  Electric cars were favored by women even though they had limited range.  They were simple to operate, quiet, and odorless. 

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Supposedly the first two autos in the state of Ohio managed to crash into each other, bringing about the need for businesses such as Rosey’s Auto Graveyard. 

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Automobiles were always breaking down on the road, and most men kept overalls in the car to keep their suits clean while changing a tire or doing whatever other repairs were needed.  

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The first roads were also very dusty! 

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In 1907, Gabriel Introduced the first shock absorber in America, the Snubber. 

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Puncture proof tires were a big selling point in new autos.  The “Torture Test” involved driving over 25,000 20-penny nails, 24 steel knives, and 30 pounds of broken glass. 

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As the auto became more common to the average household, a new part of American history was unfolding.  New roads were being built like the Dixie Highway, and the family vacation was born! 

 And what’s the best way to share a family vacation?  Send a postcard, of course! 


  1. Cool Post. I live In Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. You can still find sections of the Old Dixie Highway.

  2. Great postcards of early automobiles!


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