Hertz in 1910


Mike Herbold

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Dec 13, 1999
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How did people in the second and third class social strata get around circa 1910 in the United States if they were travelling? Obviously they would take the train to their destination, but then what? Hire a horse and buggy? Can anyone recommend some good reading material that could give me a feel for how the regular folk got around.
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Mike,

I can't think of a particular book, though Simon Nowell-Smith's "Edwardian Era" (Oxford University, 1964)is a good one, as it focuses not only on upper class life, but you're on the right track I'm sure as to the horse/buggy.

However there were taxis even then in large cities, at least. I remember reading that New York City had its first traffic-jam in 1910 so transportation was definitely even then getting past the horse/buggy stage. But heading out to some out-lying area must have been difficult in those days because roads were awful and cars were notorious for getting stuck. So a horse-drawn vehicle would have been the most reliable mode, I guess, in such cases.

There's a good chapter on early automobiles in the 1910-20 volume of the series "This Fabulous Century" (Time-Life Books, 1969)which has a great many pictures of average folk in their "tin-lizzies."

I don't think there's much about transportation in it but one of the best books on the simplicities and charm of life in the early 1900s - one I think everyone on this forum would be enriched by reading - is Jane Pettigrew's beautifully illustrated "An Edwardian Childhood" (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Co, 1991). It is remarkable and will no doubt answer many other basic questions about life at the turn of the last century.

Regards,

Randy
 
D

Dean Manning

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Mike,

Just a quick thought. You may want to check out the history of automobile makers, especially Ford. I'm not sure of the history, but it seems that the model "T" may have been around and partially affordable by then.

-Dean
 

Tracy Smith

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Nov 5, 2000
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Well, this got me to thinking about where the term "station wagon" came from. Perhaps rural train stations had horse-drawn wagons that took people to outlying areas for a fee, of course.

I don't know for sure if this is the origin of the term "station wagon", but it sounds logical to me.
happy.gif
 

Mike Herbold

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Dec 13, 1999
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Thanks all, especially Mr. B.
What really got me thinking about early transportation was the Irwin Diaries (see Sutehall biography). Dave Shuttle was nice enough to tell me a bit about the California portion of the Irwin-Sutehall round the world trip, and as I travelled to some of the areas they visited, it occured to me that I had no idea how they would move about. They were working their way around the globe, so I'm sure they either walked a lot or bummed rides.

Another person that interests me is Mrs. Hulda Klasen, an imigrant dressmaker in Los Angeles. How did she get back and forth to work everyday? Maybe she lived within walking distance of her employer, or maybe there was public transportation available.

It's amazing the different areas that this study of the Titanic and of the people involved leads you sometimes. I'll have to read up on some of the Edwardian books.
 

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