in my merry automobile …

LIFE Sept 11, 1950 – the 1906 Delavan Run

Toronto. We had many home grown automobiles like the McLaughlin in Oshawa, the Tudhope in Orillia, the Whippet, etc. Some like the Brooks Steamer had American roots long before the auto pact or NAFTA. All are gone now or absorbed by American car companies.

In the September 11, 1950 issue of LIFE magazine, the editors posted a series of pictures of American automobiles of 1906. It was a number of separate photos  to record a special travel event.

In the early 1900s, wealthy folk bought the new autos and formed auto clubs. The cars shown here were owned by the society folk of McHenry County in Illinois who celebrated a 20 mile run to the Delavan Hotel in Wisconsin one Sunday. The 25 cars used by the 98 members who made this particular trip for a great meal and a night out were recorded with a revolving camera owned by a Chicago photographer who was at the hotel that night.

The original panorama print was six feet long. The LIFE copy shot from the old print was cut up for the magazine! The roads? They were made for the bicycles popular from the mid  1800s, not the brazen new autos! Just ask member Lorne Shields, a bicycle historian and one of our speakers next fall.

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