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Thread: Ads Lie, even in 1903

  1. #1
    President Member
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    Ads Lie, even in 1903

    Ads Lie, 1903 (who Knew)

    Letter to Editor HORSELESS AGE: OCTOBER 1903

    An automobile is not only an attractive but a very interesting machine, and many of the advertisements are extremely fascinating and alluring. The uninitiated might be led to believe that all that is required is to sit on the seat, move a lever, and away she goes, up any hill, through any amount of mud, or sand, that all roads are alike, that it is a simple proposition, and "a child can run it," all at a cost of less than 2 cents a mile, etc. Nothing could be more misleading and such advertisements are false. I purchased a machine with a similar ad., describing the roads over which I wished to run, and was assured I could do so with little or no trouble. After becoming familiar with the machine around home I undertook a trip of 45 miles, my wife accompanying me, and let me say right here but for her and my early education there would still be echoes of profanity along that road.

    The machine was advertised to weigh less than 600 pounds, and strong enough to carry a ton. To my great surprise I found that it weighed 860 pounds instead, and yet the frame broke under the immense strain of two persons of medium weight. The slender speed wire broke. The spiral connection to the circulating pump broke, allowing the water to become overheated. The rubber gasket gave out and water leaked into the cylinder. The utterly worthless gears stripped while ascending a hill on my return after making the other repairs, and left me again, and yet no outward profanity on my part.

    I have had all of these radical defects repaired, and occasionally make short trips, feeling quite confident of reaching home the same day, and without a rope, although there are many other things to annoy—ignition plug, gasoline flow, muffler, tires, etc. These troubles are all liable to and do occur with the most expert driver. The machine was carefully handled, well oiled, and in no single instance will I shoulder the blame. My advice to would be purchasers is to think twice before purchasing, look into the matter most thoroughly. Read THE HORSELESS AGE and get educated.
    Try and get if possible, as much of a guarantee with a horseless wagon, representing hundreds of dollars, as you would were you to purchase a cheap horse wagon, costing $50 to $100.

    Out of it all there is fun to be had. and I am getting my share.
    Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain !

    http://sites.google.com/site/intrigu...tivehistories/

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  2. #2
    President Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    I wonder if this gentleman bought himself an EMF or, perish the thought, a Pope-Hartford? If so, then I couldn't say he didn't deserve such treatment!
    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - completely finished in driveable condition.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by stall View Post
    Ads Lie, 1903 (who Knew)

    Letter to Editor HORSELESS AGE: OCTOBER 1903

    An automobile is not only an attractive but a very interesting machine, and many of the advertisements are extremely fascinating and alluring. The uninitiated might be led to believe that all that is required is to sit on the seat, move a lever, and away she goes, up any hill, through any amount of mud, or sand, that all roads are alike, that it is a simple proposition, and "a child can run it," all at a cost of less than 2 cents a mile, etc. Nothing could be more misleading and such advertisements are false. I purchased a machine with a similar ad., describing the roads over which I wished to run, and was assured I could do so with little or no trouble. After becoming familiar with the machine around home I undertook a trip of 45 miles, my wife accompanying me, and let me say right here but for her and my early education there would still be echoes of profanity along that road.

    The machine was advertised to weigh less than 600 pounds, and strong enough to carry a ton. To my great surprise I found that it weighed 860 pounds instead, and yet the frame broke under the immense strain of two persons of medium weight. The slender speed wire broke. The spiral connection to the circulating pump broke, allowing the water to become overheated. The rubber gasket gave out and water leaked into the cylinder. The utterly worthless gears stripped while ascending a hill on my return after making the other repairs, and left me again, and yet no outward profanity on my part.

    I have had all of these radical defects repaired, and occasionally make short trips, feeling quite confident of reaching home the same day, and without a rope, although there are many other things to annoy—ignition plug, gasoline flow, muffler, tires, etc. These troubles are all liable to and do occur with the most expert driver. The machine was carefully handled, well oiled, and in no single instance will I shoulder the blame. My advice to would be purchasers is to think twice before purchasing, look into the matter most thoroughly. Read THE HORSELESS AGE and get educated.
    Try and get if possible, as much of a guarantee with a horseless wagon, representing hundreds of dollars, as you would were you to purchase a cheap horse wagon, costing $50 to $100.

    Out of it all there is fun to be had. and I am getting my share.
    The last line ensured the success of the "horseless carriage"!

  4. #4
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    I guess that we can only imagine how crude, and unreliable the early cars must have been. Along with that, they were running narrow tires, with little traction, on roads meant for horses and buggies. Luckily, they progressed, and got to the point that they were actually useable, and fun to drive.

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsenecal View Post
    I guess that we can only imagine how crude, and unreliable the early cars must have been. Along with that, they were running narrow tires, with little traction, on roads meant for horses and buggies. Luckily, they progressed, and got to the point that they were actually useable, and fun to drive.
    I have ridden around parking lots/shows in old cars. The earliest car that I can remember riding on roads in was a stock 1915 Dodge touring car. I remember it as being very crude and unsafe feeling.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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