automotive history

The Glory of Eccentricity

Milton O. Reeves was not a man without imagination. He was a modestly successful businessman. He was a visionary of sorts. He was also a man with steadfast determination not afraid of ridicule or derision. This is a particularly desirable quality if you intend to...

Seamless

A history teacher pushes the student to memorize facts and dates. In the process they often instill a life long perception that history is as dead and boring as an insurance seminar about actuary tables. A historian provides relevance. They illustrate how the events...

Visionary or Eccentric?

The line between visionary and eccentric is often one that overlaps. Among the many things that make the formative years of the American automobile industry fascinating are manifestations that blur that line. On the visionary side of that line would be the optional...
Bathtubs, Birdcages & Chevrolet

Bathtubs, Birdcages & Chevrolet

A key to success is an awareness of shortcomings. We all have an Achilles heel. For me there is a daily struggle with distractions. As an example, this afternoon while preparing for the next episode of Coffee With Jim, the live stream program on the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page, I was thumbing through a 1929 Rand McNally atlas. As this weeks program with be a virtual tour along U.S. 6, I was looking for information about the highways course in Pennsylvania.

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Well, That Didn’t Work

Well, That Didn’t Work

I had prepared the script with rich detail about Ludlow, Daggett, Newberry Springs and other outposts of civilization along the Route 66 corridor in the Mojave Desert. For illustrations I had combed my archives and created a well designed presentation. There was a...

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Legend of The Doozy

Legend of The Doozy

“It’s a doozy.” A simple phrase. A superlative. A testimonial to an astounding automobile and the genius of two brothers named Duesenberg. A standard against which all automobiles are measured. The mighty, the stylish Duesenberg. In 1885 the German-born brothers...

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Selling the Sizzle

Selling the Sizzle

From its inception, the automobile lent itself well to marketing that utilized catch phrases, slogans and jingles. In conjunction with flashy, eye-catching banners or advertisements, they became a foundational component in the development of the American auto industry...

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The Amazing Mr. Galloway (and Mr. Knutson)

The Amazing Mr. Galloway (and Mr. Knutson)

The Duesenberg brothers will forever be linked to the most powerful and most luxurious automobiles manufactured before WWII. The vehicles they developed were so extraordinary that they forever changed the American lexicon with the addition of the ultimate descriptor -...

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Alexander Winton’s Odyssey

Alexander Winton’s Odyssey

In this final chapter of this series we join Alexander Winton in the deserts of Nevada on his ill-fated attempt to be the first person to drive from coast to coast. This series was a reprint of articles published in 1901 by Scientific American. But a kind providence...

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