Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1905 Automobile v. Horse

A couple days ago, I posted some information on an early automobile appearance in 1900. Five years later, the auto was still a strange sight to see -- for both man and beast. The following article was republished in The Fowlerville Review from the Livingston Democrat in mid-June, 1905:

A farmer came to Howell over the Grand River road one day last week. His team were foaming with sweat from fright, the driver, too, was badly frightened. 'An automobile,' he said, 'assed me back here a little ways goingn at the rate of 25 or 30 miles an hour I should judge, and badly frightened my team; I had the hardest job of many years to keep them from running away. The legislature,' he said, 'should pass a law compelling them to slack their speed when passing or meeting teams.' 'Right to the reverse,' said a by-stander, 'the legislature has passed a law in favor of the automobile.'

A couple weeks later, although this has nothing to do with horses, I thought it was fairly interesting how licensing quickly became another expense to owning a car. Following is the short blurb found in the local newspaper:

The legislature passed a law that all autos must be licensed by the state and wear a tag. The law went into effect June 15 and all machines were given until July 15 to receive their tag. The state officials are receiving applications by the hundreds and most of the applicants are trying to select their own number, the most of them desiring No. 1. Of course, there is some that are superstitious and are asking not to be given No. 13.

A few weeks later, it was reported how Lansing residents are not happy with,

At Lansing, the automobile owners are asking the city to pay them back money paid for licenses. The last legislature passed the motor vehicle law, which repealed all city ordinances. Now as they are required to get state licenses, they want their money back.

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