The Youngest Chauffeur

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2011: The Youngest Chauffeur
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CharlieB Toms River N.J. on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 06:18 pm:

Supposedly a postcard showing Leona Teichgraeber in her 1909 Ford working as a chauffeur. Why did people think it was OK for kids to handle cars back then? Floyd Clymer also claimed to be a car salesman at age 11 slightly earlier than this photo's date.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Martin Vowell, Pacoima, CA on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 06:45 pm:

Probably because they were considered motorized wagons and were rarely even licensed (there were so few), back when a horse was considered a more reliable form of transportation.

Floyd told me that story too, I believe him, hell he built his own damn car (chain drive) when he was 12 or 13! Of course he threw motor in a buckboard, but still that's pretty impressive considering.

She must of had a pretty good allowance to afford that back then though. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 06:46 pm:

According to Find a Grave, she was born in 1897.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=62994843

Also - both of her parents died in 1907. She had a sister that was considerably older than she was (born in 1879). You can find that information via the above link.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Berch on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 06:55 pm:

Charlie, I don't know what the kids and cars thing was about. Probably publicity stunts. Your story reminds me of the Abernathy boys adventure.

In 1910, two young boys aged 6 and 9 drove a Brush 2512 miles from New York City to Oklahoma.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack J. Cole on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 07:10 pm:

Frankly kids were more mature then and could handle the responsebality better than most older kids can now.
I would also think kids were easyer taught how to drive than adults were.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez - Templeton, CA on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 08:42 pm:

Erik,

The information on findagrave.com is bogus.

It said my grand father died at 63 in Paso Robles Ca at 63... Wrong! He died at 68 in Santa Monica, Ca. It also said My son Died at age 22, Wrong! He died at 2 days!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 08:52 pm:

In this case, I disagree.

There is a picture posted on the website of her gravestone which clearly shows her date of birth as July 22, 1897. (According to the website, the other information was obtained from her death certificate.) It all depends on the source and who or how it was added to the website.

1


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By steamboat on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 12:03 am:

I started driving at about 11 or 12 years, once I was big enough to reach the pedals. It was easier driving a Model T than a team of horses, which I was doing at about 10. At that time driver licences in Oregon were optional. I can't remember exactly when they were required, but I think I was about 13 or 14 and the minimum age for one was 16. I had to wait before I could get one, so for a couple of years I had to drive without one. When I did get one and took the driving test I got it with a restriction: "Model T Ford only."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 02:20 am:

One thing you must realize, is that most adults in 1910 had never driven a car in their life. Just as many people had their children and grandchildren teach them computers in recent decades, it was common in the early days for adults buying their first car to get advice from their kids.
Years ago, there used to be lots of first person recollection articles in antique car magazines. I read several that told about the son (usually) driving the new car home and then teaching dad how to drive after getting home. Younger people are usually more open to new technology.
I was driving my grandfather's Ford 9(?)N tractors solo when I was six years old. I was in the first grade when I was pulling trailers out of the orchards. Earlier than that, I needed help with the clutch pedal.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dane Hawley near Melboune Australia on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 04:26 am:

Not sure if this is a driver or posed shot- probably the latter.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield, KS on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 11:59 am:

Not only had most adults in 1910 never driven a car, some never did. My grandfather, writing to a relative in 1937 at age 72, mentions having "a good girl driver" (my aunt Mary). All of his kids (born 1891 to 1910) drove cars, but I don't think he ever did. Just as today, some older people never learned to use the new technology, while others did. Example: Wyatt Earp drove a Model T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom J. Miller, mostly in Dearborn on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 08:33 pm:

Current events in Detroit.

A man under the influence recently thought it would be safer to have his nine year old daughter drive his car to the party store. He bragged how well she was doing and the party store called the police. When pulled over, the daughter asked what the problem was since she was doing so well.

The father remarked this week that he is guilty of reliving happier times from his youth when his dad let him drive cars around their property.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Noel D. Chicoine, MD on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:34 pm:

I started driving the "M" on the farm when I could push the clutch pedal. Dad started me driving around the circle that went around the machine sheds. That was FUN. Then, he hung a wheel weight on a contraption with a 4th wheel hung off the side of the tractor to pack 4 rows of corn, the same number the planter could plant in 1 swipe. I spent days on end driving up and down half mile rows packing corn after he planted. I don't think I was 8 yet. We graduated to hauling hay wagons in and out of the fields, driving the baler, and emptying the manure spreaders he filled from the feed lot. I could back a 4 wheel trailer by age 10, and run a loader by 13. I'd have likely done that earlier but I had a big brother and sister that did that. We stayed off the blacktop roads fearing we'd be caught by the local police until finally legally getting a "farm licence" at age 14 that allowed you to drive to school and for farm activities. That allowed us to haul a load of hogs or cattle to the stock yards in Sioux City. I have 8 year old patients driving Kawasaki Mule's and 4 wheelers around the family farms and ranches today.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 02:04 am:

Noel, that was a popular procedure around here in the MO. River Bottom ground in the fifties and prior. We called it "chunking corn". That was the only way to get a seedbed in the gravel like Gumbo soil back then. In the sixties, better farming methods and planters solved that problem. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis - SE Georgia on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 12:38 pm:

Noel,

When I read the first part of your first sentence, I was thinking "Farmall or John Deere?", but the second part about the clutch pedal answered that.:-)

I'm not too good at backing a 4 wheel trailer. I can usually manage to back straight up enough to back one under a shed, but nothing like a guy I saw once that backed one around a figure 8 course.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren W. Mortensen on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 01:34 pm:

Backing the 4-wheel wagons/trailers is quite a bit easier if the steering linkage is tight, which on most old wagons, it isn't. One neighbor had a haywagon made from an old Chevy chassis that wandered back & forth about 1/2 lane. When you knew you were going to be going down hill, you held back on speed so you could open the throttle and gain enough speed on the tractor to stay ahead of that thing. It always tried to pull out and pass you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Berch on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 03:25 pm:

Fabricating a hitch on the front of your tractor will save a lot of grief when backing a 4 wheeled wagon into a building. My head doesn't seem to turn around as easy as it did when I was younger.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By "Hap" Harold Tucker on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - 07:02 am:

Notice the first photo shows a car which appears to be one of the first approximately 2500 water pump equipped Fords based on the crank standing upright and combined with the front fenders without bills, the low radiator neck with the wide radiator cap etc. As such it would have started life as a mother-in-law style roadster and most likely would have had a second front seat section added to replace the original single mother-in-law seat. For did not introduce that Tourabout model until approximately Jul 1909 or so and called it a 1910 model year. Great early photo thank you for posting it.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CharlieB Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - 09:59 am:

Hap: a "trailer" with the photo lists the car as an '09. As I have no idea who wrote it I'll go with your assessment.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CharlieB Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - 10:17 am:

As to the kids and cars thing: I remembered Clymer being involved in an endurance trip and just found the story. It seems Floyd, who was a known car salesman by age 11, was approached by a Studebaker dealer in town. He knew Floyd's family was moving to Walla Walla Washington and set up Floyd and his brother on a Denver to Spokane run. They got about half way when the transmission blew for the third time and the backer pulled out. Floyd and brother Elmer, ages 11 and 14, shipped the car back to Denver and took the train to Walla Walla. This was 1910.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 12:11 am:

My grandson just turned 12. For well over a year now, he has driven my 24 Touring, my 2000 pickup, and my John Deere 50 hp tractor. These were all off road. Its illegal for him to drive on the road, and he were to do it, and stopped by the police then he could not get a license until he was 18.

In those days past above there was little traffic and things moved much slower. Today, even in the country, there is too much traffic moving too fast with drivers having a lot on their mind besides driving such that I don't think a 12 year old should be out on the road.


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