Eagle Archives, March 23, 1962: Story of 1911 auto caravan to coast reconstructed by Great Barrington man | History

Great BARRINGTON — Fifty percent a century back 40 persons piled into 12 Premier touring cars and established out to drive throughout the region. They remaining Atlantic City June 26, 1911, and only 7 weeks afterwards arrived in Los Angeles.

The journey was arranged by John Person Monihan, Philadelphia distributor for the Leading automobile. But the vacation was not a publicity gimmick it was carried out for enjoyment and the crews stopped for sightseeing. No chauffeurs ended up permitted in the ocean-to-ocean caravan. All the 12 Premiers, which in 1911 sold for about $3,500 every single, finished the overall 4,500-mile vacation.

In 1911 a cross-place auto vacation was much more than a challenge. There ended up couple of maps or road signs and no numbered routes. There wasn’t a river west of the Missouri beneath 50 ft large that had a bridge. A person failed to require a driver’s license or license plates. There was a mile of concrete freeway in Wayne, Mich., but it was only in the experimental phase.

The entourage was provided with a pacemaker, Ray McNamara, by the Leading firm. McNamara was the only just one who had an inkling of where by he was going.

But John Person Monihan and one more member of the team, C. Francis Jenkins, had the foresight to take along a digital camera. They built extra than 500 photographs that chronicled each and every depth of the expedition. In the 50 yrs due to the fact the trip, the shots have been preserved in various protected deposit boxes all around the place, guarded by John Person Monihan’s son, R.S. Monihan.

Mr. Monihan not long ago organized a pictorial essay for the guide-magazine, American Heritage, about his father’s excursion. The post, with an introduction by mentioned historian Bruce Catton, who manufactured a equivalent trip only a handful of decades afterwards, will show up in the April issue of American Heritage.

The tale could have been written a long time ago, states Mr. Monihan, who is dean of graduate learners at the American Institute of Economic Exploration here, but he was established “to establish the historic eligibility of the ocean-to-ocean vacation.” The American Heritage tale will involve 23 photographs taken by John Monihan and Jenkins and 1,500 words and phrases of textual content published by R.S. Monihan.

The creator commenced do the job on the reconstruction of the excursion a lot more than two a long time ago, he states, and required to complete the tale past yr, specifically 50 yrs following the celebration. Even so, the project took for a longer period than he expected. He now has accomplished the work for a comprehensive-size book about his father’s encounters, and expects to publish it in a year. The e book will incorporate some 70,000 phrases and 200 to 300 images.

This Story in Record is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.