s-l1600 This vintage real photo postcard features a young woman driving an early automobile. What makes this postcard rather remarkable is that she is driving the car while her husband sits in the passenger seat. She truly was a woman before her time. She didn’t need a man to drive her around. She appears to have been self sufficient and confident enough to operate a vehicle on her own. The couple’s son is enjoying the car ride by straddling the hood of the automobile as it travels down a bumpy dirt road. I don’t know the model or year of the car but I can appreciate some of its features. Note the funky headlights, windshield and the starting crank on the front grill. This postcard was produced by AZO sometime between 1904 and 1918. Addendum: A knowledgeable and helpful cabinet card gallery visitor has informed me that this automobile is a 1910 or a 1911 Maxwell.  (SOLD)

Published in: on December 26, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. For someone who hates to drive (well, getting lost!), I have an abiding love of vintage cars. My first car was an 88 Olds with a 98 engine and I drove 80 mph on a 2-lane to get to my teaching job in the next county. Passing sand trucks and dodging a bored kid waiting for his bus, who once pretended to be ready to run out in front of me. When I failed to swerve into the other ditch, he never did that again.

  2. It turns out the woman is only pretending to drive, like Maggie does with her toy steering wheel at the beginning of every Simpsons episode. You’ll notice the lady’s pretend “big girl” steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car, just like Maggie’s. Obviously, the skilled gentleman is deftly guiding the vehicle with his knees, with the real steering wheel being obscured from our view by the child.

  3. Could it be the image is “flopped” since the brake handle is on the same side as the steering wheel? Nit sure this would be the same case if a non-working steering wheel was in place….if the car were, or had been running, wouldn’t that metal hood on the car be a bit to hot to lean on? Just asking…

  4. I found an old issue of the magazine “Motor Age” (July 27, 1912) online and on page 37, there’s a discussion of the Maxwell “Special” model for 1912–the steering wheel is described as on the right side. Other photos of older Maxwells in the periodical also show the steering wheel and brake on the right side of the auto. There’s a discussion elsewhere, arguing that the steering wheels should be on the left side of American cars. Apparently, many other American manufacturers of that time also placed the steering on the right, simply because European automakers had done so.

    • Thanks for sharing your interesting and informative research

    • I agree with you, Ross. Early day inventions often have anomalies. I’m thinking that once 2-lane roads were common, and American car makers realized that driving on the right-hand side of the road would be the norm, the steering wheels were placed accordingly.

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