The Man in the Auto (1907)

(Frank Leslies Weekly/July 25, 1907) The automobile has worked a great change in mining in the desert regions of the West. Formerly many mines could not be opened because of their distance from a base of supplies and the difficulty of hauling food by mule-power. Now the automobile is used both for passenger and freight purposes, and it is possible to reach in hours claims that were a little while ago days away from the railroad. It is possible in level districts to make a mile a minute over the sandy wastes, for no speed laws hamper the mining men. It is reported, however, that the friction on the hot sand occasionally melts the cement of the tires.

COMPLAINT is made by some automobilists (chiefly the speed enthusiasts) that the oiled or tarred road, by reason of its dark color, is difficult to follow after nightfall, whereas the light surface of the clay or macadam road is comparatively plain to view, even on rather a dark night. The average automobilist, however, using good lights and maintaining a reasonable speed, should have no great trouble from this cause.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.

EXPERTS see in the results of the Grand Prix and the Kaiser’s Cup race a demonstration of the utility of the four-cylinder motor. Nazarro won both races in a four-cylinder car. There were two eight-cylinder English cars in the Grand Prix, an eight-cylinder French, an eight-cylinder Swiss, and an Italian six-cylinder machine, but none of them took any honors.

THE London Times is convinced that the motor omnibus, though it has come to stay, must be considerably altered before it can be regarded as a success. Its weight (and probably, therefore, its carrying capacity) must be reduced, if for no other reason than the wear and tear on suburban roads. The owners of property along the London suburban routes are complaining of this and the serious deterioration of land values, due to the noise and vibration caused by cars of the type now in use.

ILLINOIS automobilists are pleased with the new motor-vehicle law of that State. It provides that cars must bear numbers at least one inch in height on the faces of their oil lamps, with the letters “ILL.” directly beneath. A tag carried at the rear of the machine must have numerals four inches in height on a white background. The speed rates are: Twelve miles an hour in the business district of cities, fifteen miles in residence districts, six miles in rounding corners, and twenty miles in the country.

ENGLISH automobilists are investigating the possibilities of other fuels than gasoline, moved to this action by the advance in the price of gasoline. Some success has attended the experiments with a combination of alcohol and acetylene, but the present price of alcohol, on account of the high internal-revenue tax, makes its use impracticable. Benzol, which is produced in the course of the distillation of coal at gas works, and can be sold at a fair price if there is a large enough demand for it, is regarded as offering a possible solution of the fuel problem. It is more powerful than gasoline, though it may be somewhat objectionable on account of the odor of sulphuric acid which it gives to the exhaust.

WHITE steamers have been making good records this summer. Of the forty-five cars which competed in the regularity run of the Quaker City Motor Club on July 3d, the only one which finished with a perfect score was a model “H” twenty horse-power White. On July 4th, at Santa Rosa, Cal., the model “G” thirty horse-power White, carrying a regular body with full equipment, won the ten-mile race for cars of thirty – five horse-power and under in 12:54, and the twenty-five-mile free-for-all in 29:07. The same car, on July 2d, made a perfect score in the 185-mile endurance run from Los Angeles to Lakeside, carrying seven passengers and their baggage, on a fuel consumption of less than nineteen gallons—a record which has seldom been equaled in this country.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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