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WHAT FIFTY YEARS OF THE AUTOMOBILE HAVE DOME TO THE U. S. A.
Quest Club - October 14, 1955
by Charles E. Franks
At first glance this seems a meaty subject. Look twice and you
realize that it could be called equally well "What Everybody Knows.n
What Questor does not know the impact the motor car has had on U. S. A.
and on nUs" in its production, its sale and its use?
So, if I touch briefly, lightly and personally on what has
happened, you will, I hope, forgive an effort bound to be trite and
having no significance unless it be to awaken nostalgic memories in old
timers like myself, born in horse and buggy days, who have seen the motor
car's beginning, its change from a rare rich man's toy to the common,
useful necessity it is today.
Fifty years ago total automobile registration for the entire
country was slightly more than the present motor population of Allen
County, namely about 74,000 as against a present estimated total of
sixty-five million* Production in 1905 totalled 24,000 and in 1955 it
is thought that there will have been produced seven and a half million.
Some of you will remember the cars of 1905. There were a few
in Fort Wayne but only in the hands of the financial elite. The rest of
us were consoled by the greater reliability of the transport available to
us. Not for us the Packards, Cadillacs, Fords, Oldsmobiles, names as
valid then as now, nor the Stutz, Stoddard-Dayton, Thomas Flyer, Velie,
Apperson and others as well known but as impermanent. Even the great
success of the Franklin Air Cooled and the steam driven White and the
Stanley faded and passed out with the improvement and practical advantages
Members of the Quest Club authorize the Allen County Public Library to digitize and publish past, present and future Quest Club papers for dissemination on the Allen County Public Library website (Board of Directors of Quest Club, Inc., Resolution of May 2010).