H.A. Wilson Driving Down Main Street, circa 1920

Speaking of H.A. Wilson, one of the many charming letters that have turned up in the ARA collection describes his means of transportation to and from campus. I’ve come to understand that the dramatic flourish of the long gloves, much like his walking out on a misbehaving class, was typical of Wilson:

I had assumed that these long gloves were laboratory equipment but now I’m not sure:

I’ve seen the Oakland described as “aimed at those who could afford more than a Chevrolet but less than a Buick” which sounds about right for a Physics professor at the time.

Bonus: An alert colleague noticed this intriguing note in Tudor field house yesterday. Am anxiously awaiting details.

 

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3 Responses to H.A. Wilson Driving Down Main Street, circa 1920

  1. Francis Eugene "Gene" Pratt RICE INSTITUTE 1956 says:

    1. Anyone know what year cranking a car to start it became obsolete?
    Or were any cars once crank- and/or battery-start optional.?
    And gloves would be nice for changing a tire.

    2 .What would be proper?

    For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.

    A time to screw and a time to unscrew,
    or.
    A time to screw and a time to be screwed.

    • Brian Cole (Wiess '78) says:

      I’m not sure what year cranking a car became obsolete, but I can provide one data point.
      Years ago, a roommate had a ’57 MGA that he had restored. That car had a battery-powered starter, as well as a foldable crank stored in the “boot.” That crank could be inserted through a hole in the front bumper and then used to start the car if the battery was dead. So at least through 1957 there was at least one car in production that allowed the option.

      • Francis Eugene "Gene" Pratt RICE INSTITUTE 1956 says:

        Thanks.
        “… through 1957”. Egad, that was during my Rice period; I should have known that.

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