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It’s A Novelty! It’s A Wonder! It’s A Glimpse of the Future

Bicycles were all the rage. For the manufacturers of bicycles, bicycle

parts, and accessories it was a gold rush. In just four years bicycle ownership had increased by an astounding 250% and clubs organized tours that were hundreds of miles in length. The League of American Wheelmen became a powerful political force that lobbied for better roads. Astute businessmen such as Orville and Wilbur Wright were quick to capitalize on the

In the shadows of bicycle mania, a new technological wonder was being prepared for its debut. Ransom E. Olds mused on the advantages of a horseless carriage in an interview published by Scientific American in the 1880’s. In the early 1890’s the Duryea brothers became the first to begin manufacturing these horseless carriages, and Montgomery Ward noted that they were a sight to behold, something that every parent should take the children to see before the fad passed. Barnum & Bailey Circus gave a Duryea Motor Wagon top billing over the bearded lady AND the albino.  (more…)

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The Fall Promotional Tour Is Underway!

The fall promotional tour kicked off last weekend with an

Surprises abound along Route 66 in southern California.

adventure to the original western terminus of Route 66 in the heart of the historic theater district in Los Angeles. Next week the tour heads east to the Miles of Possibility Conference in Carlinville, Illinois, with a detour to Jackson, Michigan.

These annual odysseys are one part research and two parts business but it is work that I enjoy immensely. My son I and hit the road long before first light cleared the music Mountains to the west, and we were deep into the Mojave Desert when a glorious sunrise unfolded. The first stop was Rancho Cucamonga where I made a presentation about Route 66 in western Arizona at a fund raising breakfast for the Route 66 Inland Empire Association, and signed copies of 100 Things to Do on Route 66 Before You Die.  (more…)

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