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1910 Auto Show

February 20, 2010 |  2:00 am



Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show

Feb. 20, 1910: The Auto Show at Fiesta Park featured nearly 200 cars. An enormous tent was built at the park and redwood limbs were used to disguise the uprights so that the entire show resembled a forest. There are statistics on speed and horsepower, but nothing about gas consumption. Using previous stories, it's been possible to calculate miles per gallon on the old horseless carriages and it was fairly poor, at least by today's standards. 

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show

The men who put the Auto Show together.


Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show

I suppose someone had to build the world’s largest speedometer.

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show

The Westcott 40 is powerful, obedient and faithful, and is a car with "good character." 

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show 

An observer at the show notices that automakers are abandoning the chain drive in favor of the drive shaft. Virtually all manufacturers (except a certain fellow in Detroit making Model Ts by the millions) have given up  the planetary transmission.

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show

A woman who knows about cars – what a shock!

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show


Notice the reference to the once-famous Pasadena to Altadena hill climb. The race began at Orange Grove Boulevard and went up Los Robles.

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show 

Harry C. Carr takes a light look at women and autos: "The girl of yesterday professed a skittish horror of anything resembling machinery. She said machinery was horrid; she was rather proud of the fact that she couldn't understand.

"The girl of today toys with an engineer's oil can and talks like an automobile handbook."


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One of the electric cars featured at the show. These early electrics were especially marketed to women.


Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show


The Times takes a look at local car dealers.

Feb. 2, 1910, Auto Show


“Intermediate” is what we know as second gear in a three-speed transmission.


Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show


W.H. Leonard, writing for The Times, says: “The railroads, trolley lines and steamship companies suffer as a consequence of the development of the automobile, but a new line of pleasure is evolved which is bound to become more popular each year.

“People are no longer content to drive about the city streets in their machines; they must go from town to town, county to county and state to state. It is a tendency which requires good roads, excellent service at hotels and inns and the best manufacture in the automobile line. It brings people closer together and puts the rural districts in touch with life of the great trade centers.”

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show


An interesting detail – the demands of making automobiles have required better components in the way of screws, nuts, washers and all the other little pieces that we now take for granted. One of the main reasons earlier cars were so rickety was the relatively poor quality of the nuts and bolts that held them together, The Times says.



Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show


Touring “Tejunga Canyon” in a motorcar.


Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show 

“When automobiles are practically useless as pleasure vehicles in the snowbound East, we of Southern California are spinning over the open mesas, climbing into the foothill canyons or skirting along the ocean shore, where the breakers of the Pacific roll in a leisurely manner up the sands of the beach or dash in spray against the rocks,” The Times says.

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show 

I had no idea Studebaker ever made an electric. This one cost $$54,792.33 USD 2008.

Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show


The Times gives a breakdown of local government agencies and their cars. The water department leads with 10 autos. And the Los Angeles City Fire Department has purchased a Seagraves fire engine. 


Feb. 20, 1910, Auto Show


And  the members of the Los Angeles Athletic Club are training for a 17-mile “marathon” from Venice to downtown Los Angeles. The runners are allowed to have a coach accompany them, either on a bicycle or a horse.

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