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Car Travel – 1914 Style

by Sam Moore

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Sam Moore

When we plan a car trip today, besides packing our stuff, preparations include giving a little attention to the car. About all that’s necessary before a long trip is an oil change and lube, along with a check on all the fluids, and the tire pressure. 100 years ago, it wasn't so easy.

Recently, I was looking through a slim little volume titled “Autocraft.” Published in 1914, it contains a chapter that gives: “A Few Hints to the Tourist ... before starting on an extended trip.”

Today, fortunately, we don’t need to adjust any engine bearings or grind any valves, and about the only tool necessary from the above list is a jack and handle. We travel in comfortable, climate controlled conditions (without having to rely on isinglass curtains), on smooth surfaced roads at more than a mile a minute, and the thought of a flat tire never crosses our minds. Our wives don’t need long dusters, goggles, or scarves to tie on their hats, and we don’t have to “get out and get under” even once (we hope).