And Now for Some history....
October 05, 2010
Do you know who Horatio Nelson Jackson is? Until recently, I’d never heard of him either – though, I probably saw his car sitting in the Smithsonian Institute and paid no attention to it. But, I should have. This 1903 Winton Automobile, nicknamed the Vermont by Nelson, would drive into history, and unknowingly usher in countless adventures.
Horatio Nelson Jackson was the first person to drive an automobile across the United States. It was a journey that would take him sixty three days, twelve hours, and thirty minutes. Considering Nelson did not reach roads that were paved with regularity until he reached Ohio – when they could, Nelson drove his car on railroad tracks. This car had no roof, no windshield. And with the terrain Jackson and his traveling companion, Sewall Crocker were crossing, they went through a great many tires. When the duo reached Idaho, they acquired a pit bull dog they named Bud. There were no gas stations to speak of in that time, so the gasoline the Vermont ran on was purchased at farms and general stores along the way. In a time before additives and graded gasoline, cars and tractors ran on the same kind of gas. Jackson and his friend were forced to pay in upwards of five dollars a gallon for gasoline, that was in 1903 dollars. It took over 800 gallons of gas to make the trip, that would mean paying nearly ninety dollars a gallon today.
There are other journeys made across the United States – some true, some fictional – but that’s a story for another day – and entirely different sort of automobile.
Red Bridge Branch