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Tags » ‘history’

Never forget.

September 11th, 2017 by admin

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Never forget.

John Fitch, far more than just a race car driver, and more than a racing team director. Not only did he date JFK’s sister, he was manager of Lime Rock, inventor of the sand barrel safety barrier saving over 17,000 lives, and a WW2 fighter pilot in the P51 Mustang

August 6th, 2017 by admin

To think of him only on terms of a Gran Prix race car driver is to miss the majority of his astonishing life.

But learn from that. To think of most people in terms of just one thing, is to miss the big picture of their lives, and odds are you’ll have missed the better parts.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1917. He was a descendent of the inventor of the steamboat, John Fitch. Fitch’s stepfather was an executive with the Stutz Motor Company, which introduced him to cars and racing at an early age.

When WW2 broke out, he volunteered in spring of 1941, for the United States Army Air Corps. His service took him to North Africa, where he flew the A-20 Havoc and then on to England. By 1944, Captain Fitch was a P-51 Mustang pilot with the Fourth Fighter Group on bomber escort missions, and became one of the Americans to shoot down a German Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.

When Fitch returned to the U.S., he was among many young pilots who’d developed the need for speed during the conflict. He became part of the Palm Springs set, hanging out with Joe Kennedy’s sons including Jack and Bobby, and dating his daughter. But he was increasingly interested in racing and by the 1950s had started to devote more and more time to the sport.

Fitch opened an MG car dealership and also began racing at

On Christmas Day, December 25, 1830, the Best Friend of Charleston became the first regularly scheduled steam locomotive passenger train in the United States.

August 5th, 2017 by admin

The locomotive made its initial run on the first six miles of track of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company. Chartered in 1827, the same year that the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was incorporated, the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company steamed out of Charleston. The new line was designed to make Charleston competitive with Savannah, Georgia, for the cotton trade.

Over the next three years the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company became, for a time, the world’s longest railway line. The company was a predecessor of J. P. Morgan’s Southern Railway Company, which grew out of the realignment of southern railways following the Civil War.

https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/december-25

This “Best Friend” was built in the late 1920’s for the centennial of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company.

https://vacationrick.blogspot.com/2013/10/an-important-piece-of-charleston.html

According to a report in the City Gazette, November 22, 1821 issue, a railroad was suggested to run from Charleston to Hamburg and a branch on to Columbia. Horatio Allen (1802-1890) was the chief engineer for The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company from 1829 – 1835. (This line is now a part of the Southern Railway System.) On December 19, 1827, The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company was chartered. Work began, January 9, 1830, on the line to Branchville, SC which was 62 miles from Charleston and it was opened in November, 1832. The line to Hamburg (adjacent to Augusta, GA) was opened on October 1, 1833. The line was now the longest continuous railroad in the world, 136 miles in length, and first to carry the US mail. (Derrick 1930, 10) This route took passengers on the 11 ½ hour trip with 7 stops for $6.75 one way. (Edgar 1998, 283)

The “Best Friend” had a brief, but historic, life. It was completed and put into regular service on December 25, 1830. On June 17, 1831, three men were injured in an explosion. A tied down safety valve due to the noise of the steam escaping, caused the boiler to blow up. Parts of the “Best Friend” were used in construction of the “Phoenix.” The “Best Friend” having been designed by C.E. Detmold, chief engineer was Horatio Allen, who early on advocated steam power locomotion and Nicholas W. Darrell became the first railway engineer. Nicholas W. Darrell died in 1869 after running engines for many years and having the distinction of being the first man to open the throttle on the “Best Friend.” The “Best Friend of Charleston” was modeled after its forerunner “Best Friend” and was known as the first locomotive built in the United States and used in service of transportation. (Southern Railway System, 1)

http://www.teachingushistory.org/lessons/charlestonrailroad.html

The “Stourbridge Lion,” in 1829 was the first locomotive to run on tracks in America.

Bessie Stringfield, finally getting some long overdue praise, in a great little illustrated book

August 2nd, 2017 by admin

The last of the Horse Drawn Carriages

July 30th, 2017 by admin

Just before the last of these horsecars was banished from the streets of New York City, a photographer snapped this photo of one of the last

A train sits abandoned in the Arabian desert nearly 100 years after being ambushed by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and his infamous rebels.

July 27th, 2017 by admin

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A train sits abandoned in the Arabian desert nearly 100 years after being ambushed by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and his infamous rebels.

Charles Glidden, made a fortune from the telephone industry, as he was helping Alexander Bell, and retired to a life of fooling around with automobiles

June 5th, 2017 by admin

in 1866 he went to work for the telegraph company, by age 20 he was working with Alexander Bell, and built up a large company that sold subscriptions to customers, and then sold that company to Bell at age 43.

In 1898 he bought 3 electric cars, but they didn’t satisfy. In 1901 he bought a Napier loved it so much he bought two more. He decided to drive around the world and see it all

He was the 1st man to drive around the world, and even spent 1800 miles on railroads on his way to Minneapolis.

In 1901, Glidden undertook a journey to the Arctic Circle, where no roads existed, accompanied solely by his wife. Not only did they survive, but they did it again. In 1902, aboard a beefy Napier, the couple undertook a very early circumnavigation of the globe, driving through Malaysia and Japan, doing the global loop not just once, but twice.

He kicked off the Glidden tours to get other car owners to go long range and enjoy their cars too

http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/mr-and-mrs-charles-jasper-glidden-arrive-at-c-p-r-station

https://leminhkhai.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/the-sultan-of-johors-place-in-the-victorian-ecumene/

Read more here:
Charles Glidden, made a fortune from the telephone industry, as he was helping Alexander Bell, and retired to a life of fooling around with automobiles

In 1915, journalist Emily Post set out from New York to investigate whether it was possible to drive comfortably across the country to San Francisco in an automobile. 7 years later she wrote her book on etiquette

May 15th, 2017 by admin

Emily Post began her career as a writer at the age of thirty-one. Her romantic stories of European and American society were serialized in Vanity Fair, Collier’s, McCall’s, and other popular magazines. Many were also successfully published in book form.

Originally published by Collier’s Weekly, By Motor To The Golden Gate describes her travels with her cousin Alice and her son as she embarks on the 27-day car trip across America, complete with the elements that make any road trip memorable: the nauseating climbs along muddy roads, the elegance of stylish downtown hotels and the “eccentric topsy-turviness” of Midwestern cities.

The horse got a well deserved ride back down the hill after pulling the trolley up the hill in 1890

May 9th, 2017 by admin

Tracks laid on a sloping street required the horse to pull the trolley up to the end of the line.

The the horse is unhitched and catches a ride either on the trolley or a trailer cart and then the trolley is allowed to make the return run down the hill using gravity and the braking system on the car

https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelryerson/28430767185/

Originally posted here: 
The horse got a well deserved ride back down the hill after pulling the trolley up the hill in 1890

The 1929 Los Angeles Auto Show went up in flames, destroying 320 cars. Was it arson by the car junkyard next to it?

March 21st, 2017 by admin

There happened to be an auto salvage business on the adjoining lot, and after the fire, they simply took down a portion of the fence and dragged the burned-out cars into the salvage yard.

Does it now seem suspicious that there was a car fire at an autoshow of vehicles that weren’t running

http://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showpost.php?p=4645771&postcount=733

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The 1929 Los Angeles Auto Show went up in flames, destroying 320 cars. Was it arson by the car junkyard next to it?