Seven identical Fords delivered in 1910 |

Seven identical Fords delivered in 1910

Willa SoncartyFrontier DiaryGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyOn April 6, 1910, members of the Glenwood Springs Motor Club posed with their new Ford automobiles, the first mass delivery of cars made to Glenwood Springs. By this time, the automobile was a familiar site on Glenwood Springs streets. However, with this delivery, members of the auto club hoped to encourage all to become auto owners.

“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.”- Dave Barry Since 1902, the automobile has been part of Glenwood Springs’ landscape. In less than a decade following that first local coming of the auto, the prices of the machines declined, making this new mode of transportation affordable to the common man. The Avalanche Echo newspaper of May 1909 wrote, “Glenwood is rapidly becoming the city of the auto and the ‘honk, honk’ of the auto is constantly in evidence.” The number of vehicles increased again on March 31, 1910, when seven identical Ford cars were delivered by rail to members of the Glenwood Motor Club. On April 6, 1910, these vehicles were parked in a semi-circle in Grand Avenue for a photo opportunity. The Avalanche Echo newspaper noticed that “such a parade was never seen in our city before; and we understand there will probably be another similar one in about 30 to 60 days.”However, an increase in autos on Glenwood’s streets did not mean that there were adequate laws governing their use or that their owners demonstrated a higher proficiency in their operation. On May 4, 1910, Glenwood Motor Club member Austin Gavin allowed his 13-year-old son, Morgan, to take his new Ford for a spin. As Morgan rounded the corner at a high rate of speed near 801 Cooper Ave., he barely missed the horse and delivery wagon of Colcord and Dowd, parked in front of the grocers’ building. Although the horse was accustomed to autos, the near miss encouraged the horse and wagon to bolt for the intersection of Eighth and Grand. In the escape, a large box of crackers dropped from the delivery wagon, shattered, and spilled onto Eighth Street. Seeing opportunity, young boys filled their hats, pockets and stomachs with the free goods. The horse and wagon were retrieved undamaged. Morgan Gavin received no reprimand for his speed or lack of driving ability.Pedestrian safety was paramount when the state of Colorado at about this time sought to legislate these “buzz wagons.” Colorado statutes classified the automobile as a deadly weapon. A driver guilty of striking a pedestrian could be convicted of assault and subject to a jail sentence.There was fun, excitement and novelty to automobile ownership. However, Glenwood Springs auto owners, as well as those across Colorado, were realizing that responsibility came with that ownership.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday and Thursday through Saturday. For more information, call 945-4448.

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