Summer will be here before you know it, so let's talk about what it was like to take a road trip 100 years ago. We have a stack of negatives labelled "Harold Herschner" and dated to 1915. I usually don't scan non-Hood River images, but I scanned a quick sampler of some of the better images from this collection just for fun. We'll see some more later this summer.
We know from the negatives that Harold Herschner and family visited Washington DC, New York City, and Niagara falls. Knowing the state of roads and automobiles in that era, that seems like an amazing feat. Since it's Monday, I'll let you fill in with details or speculation. Perhaps the Glacier or Hood River News reported on their trip?
Their automobile has a logo near the front that may begin with a "C" but Herschner's camera skills were not the greatest, so I can't be sure. Remember when you didn't get your film developed until a few weeks after you got home? I suspect when the Herschner's got all their film back he was wishing he had spent more time mastering the focus and exposure controls on the camera. And couldn't they have strapped a tripod to the back of that auto? If I ever get to go back in time I'm going to distribute tripods to all the amateur photographers I meet. Hopefully that won't disturb the time continuum too much and make us all into cockroaches.
These are always interesting. I have a little diary that my greast-grandfather kept while driving from Hood River to Long Beach in 1928 Amazing they got their at all. One thing I had to really laugh at when I initially read it was about going past the Bridge of the Gods, which apparently had just recently been constructed. He made a notation about he just couldn't believe that man had progressed to such a degree to be able to build things such as that. Little did he know.....
Charlott on 13th April 2015 @ 7:05am
Arthur, your photographic professionalism is commendable and appreciated, but I am inclined to think that Mr. Herschner may have been quite proud of the clarity of his efforts for that time period. Admittedly an amateur's opinion. My main memories of road trips from childhood-1940's-were that such things as flat tires, overheated engines, and vapor lock were more planned for occurences than ill fortune. Prudent travelers carried tube repair kits and air pumps. Also maybe some water jugs for the radiator. But people were maybe even more amazed back then with all the technological progress that was taking place. And they were still able to pretty much make repairs themselves when things broke down.
Buzz on 13th April 2015 @ 8:05am
One of Ford's objectives during the Model T era was to have a repair/service station located every 7 miles along major roadways. This way if you broke down you didn't have to walk more than 3 1/2 miles to get parts or other help.
Longshot on 13th April 2015 @ 8:18am
Arthur, you are too much of a perfectionist professional.
The last thing I want to drag along on a road trip is a tripod.
Not everyone is an Alva Day!
1915 seems amazingly early to take a road trip. My mother in law would talk about her first car trip to Long Beach. That would have been around 1925. Previously, they had traveled by steamboat and railroad. At 90 years of age, she was still talking about the rigors and trials of that trip.
If you click the Herschner tag, Jeffrey Bryant has left a good biography of the Herschner family.
I assume that is Grandma Rachel Loughary Herschner in the back seat. Is Harold driving and Grandpa John taking the photo?
L.E. on 13th April 2015 @ 8:31am
I know that in the beginning of my great-grandfathers travels to Long Beach for the winter, they didn't drive. They drove the car to Portland and put it on the steamer for Long Beach.
Charlott on 13th April 2015 @ 11:05am
In my defense, I'll point out that you folks only see the images after I've discarded 95% of them, rotated them 15 degrees, cropped out the fingers, adjusted the exposure.
Arthur on 13th April 2015 @ 11:11am
I once ran into a map of the auto roads in New York State, published in 1907 or 1909, IIRC. The map noted that 90% of the roads shown on the map were paved.
Longshot on 13th April 2015 @ 2:36pm
Yes, Arthur, the digital age of photography has certainly drastically changed during our lifetimes...I less than fondly remember sending my film off to far off Portland and for the photos in the return mail to see if I got anything worth a darn. Each and every photo had a price and required some thought regarding ones wallet.
And yes, I also remember those canvas water bags hung from the hood....and this was in the 40s.
Arlen Sheldrake on 13th April 2015 @ 4:28pm
Harold Hershner was born in 1887, which would make him 28 years old in 1915.
Doesn't the driver look older than 28? I think this must be Harold's parents, J.L. and Rachel Hershner, with Rachel's mother in the back seat. She passed away at age 81 in 1922. If that is Rachel's mother, she was part of the "Meek Cutoff Wagon Train" of 1845. This road trip must have been very different from the 1845 trip.
Harold was married in 1919 after serving in France.
L.E. on 27th March 2017 @ 6:00pm