Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Early Automobiles

In January of 1912, J. W. Wilson, the local Ford automobile agent in Marion, received his first 1912 consignment of automobiles, consisting of a car load of Ford machines of various types, one a four door passenger of the latest 1912 model, one a run about, and one for delivery purposes and general utility uses, such as express, ice, laundry, groceries, milk or other public utilities.

In the picture at the right Mr. Wilson lined his new shipment of automobiles along Main Street for all to see.   

The old news item about this scene describes it as quite a pretty sight as the automobiles moved up Depot Street after being unloaded from the train, and were displayed on Main Street.

Although a luxury to own and a time saver for traveling the new automobiles also had their dangers, not only for the owners but for passengers, and passers-by.  Here are a few items from the early 1900's Crittenden Presses telling about these accidents.
  • Three automobiles were reported destroyed by fire in the county.  A Ford belonging to Fred Crayne was burned.  Mr. Crayne was driving the automobile when the machine caughtt fire from a short circuit.
  • C. M. Dillard, of Marion, lost a truck by fire while on his way to Rosiclare, Ill.  The flames from the burning machine ignited the dry leaves and the woods caught fire resulting in the burning of a fence.
  • A Ford car belonging to Frank Butler caught fire from the backfire in the carburetor while being driven near Frances and was destroyed.
  • Miss Dezzie Arflack was out buggy riding with an escort Sunday afternoon near Marion, while alighting from the vehicle almost got run over by an automobile resulting in a number of painful bruises.  The chauffeur said it was unavoidable on his part.
  • Mr. H. B. Hamby was driving a buggy in the vicinity of Haffaw Mines near Mexico, he was run into by an automobile and the buggy wrecked.  Mr. Hamby escaped with slight injuries, as so did the horse.  The driver of the machine was not reported.
  • Dr. J. R. Perry, while cranking his car Friday afternoon, had his right arm broken near the wrist.
  • Mr. Odis Paris while cranking his car had his right arm broken below the elbow.  Physicians dressed and set the wounded limb and Mr. Paris is now able to be out, carrying his arm in a sling.

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