Among the Clouds

Among the Clouds was a seasonal newspaper published atop New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in the late 1800s into early 1900s.  The title is fitting for this scene from 1904.  Thanks to the camera work of F.W. Spooner, and the courtesy of the Roadsters Club of Massachusetts, we can enjoy this glimpse of the first “Climb to the Clouds” auto race to the summit.

The year was 1904.  Spooner’s vantage point was along the approach to the summit end of the Mt. Washington Stage Road (they would later modify the name to embrace transportational changes).  Wouldn’t we love to have a sound track for this scene of Harry Harkness, hurtling toward us on his 60 h.p. Mercedes.  The 8+ mile “Stage Road” had hundreds of water bars to minimize erosion of the road’s gravel surface.  Mr. Harkness and riding mechanician must have looked forward to the end of it.

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1910 Peerless

A handsome 1910 Peerless runabout with some well-to-do gentlemen. The plate appears to be 1910 Pennsylvania. With Packard and Pierce photos posted earlier today, we’ve now covered the “Three P’s.” Photo from the Robert C. Laurens collection.

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We’re Back!

Remember us from about a month ago?  This photo, initially shared by David Longstreth, appeared in a February 5 post.  Said to be Barney Oldfield, observant David Greenlees suspected otherwise.  Robert Rampton noted on February 6 that this was taken at a Cactus Derby finish and suggested that the driver was Joe Nikrent.  Indeed, these gents were Joe and Louis Nikrent in their winning Buick at the November 6-7, 1909 L.A. to Phoenix  Road Race.  Here is a more complete scene, taken about the same time as the photo above.

The L.A. to Phoenix Road Race, later known as the Cactus Derby, finished in 1909 while a territory fair was going on in Phoenix.  Finishers of that race ran in a track competition at the fairgrounds and this photo was probably taken there.  Note the uniformed guys and the bandstand.  Another feature of this photo that I just love is the condition of the starting crank handle.  What did they whack out there in the desert?  A rock in the night, or gravel when they plunged through a dry wash?  Having done that, they’d have had an interesting time using it to start the car at any subsequent stops.

Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Auto Racing 1894 - 1942 | Tagged , , , |