October 1906. A news story about Henry Ford and four friends "outrunning" a storm in their Ford 6-40. If I chose to be "flip", I'd say "in the car he hated".
Fortunately I'm not .
I never knew that chasing balloons with a car was a game in 1907.
Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ
That is just too much fun! I laughed most of the way through reading it! Thank you Rob.
Drive carefully in that fast machine of yours! And enjoy, W2
That must have been a sight to behold old Henry racing along.
So when are your going to try it in your 6-40?
I'm waiting for Royce to say that it wasn't really raining that day...
Successful press release by Ford it looks like. You will find similar fiction on virtually any brand of car from the era. Kind of like today - if its on the internet it must be true, right? Back then a newspaper was the equivalent to the internet.
Fun story, but it doesn't counter the historical reports from Henry's closest associates that he hated the Model K and regretted building the car.
News Flash.........Library Moves The Story Of Lance Armstrong To The Fiction Section!
You must be psychic.
Royce, help me understand this. You say "this is "fiction"?
"Successful press release by Ford it looks like. You will find similar fiction on virtually any brand of car from the era......"
"Fun story, but it doesn't counter the historical reports from Henry's closest associates that he hated the Model K and regretted building the car."
But if it's a Ford surrogate or biographer writes it fifty years later, it's "gospel"? Does this mean everything we read about other Ford cars is "fiction", or is that only reserved for the Model K?
I'm starting to understand (not).
Or perhaps the Salem Oregon newspaper had a reporter assigned to cover Henry Ford that day. You decide if it's a Ford press release story or a real story.
Boy, your right on it Royce. Slow day?
Rob, sometimes being psychic is easy....
Not fiction, just a reporter really trying to "spruce up" the story. Mission accomplished. That is my take on it.
I for one can believe this story.
It may have a bit of the dramatic prose that was typical of the press back in the day. But we know Henry was a speed demon in his earlier days. I will bet that he did enjoy putting that Model K through her paces.
A bad or poorly performing car?
There were mechanical issues unique to the K as there were with many early autos. They were still experimenting with what they could do and build. But it was a big powerful car well built car especially for the price. I think you have proven Henry didn't hate it but felt that the Ford Motor Co. to be what he knew it could be had to go in a different direction. That path was lead by the success of the N, R & S. Leading finally to the T.
Just my 2 cents worth.
So how did the Salem Oregon paper get such a story? Maybe they had ESPN?
Since the article was in October, well past T-storm season in Michigan (August?), who knows how they got it. AP or UP should have been faster than that.
1876: Mark Kellogg, a stringer, is the first AP news correspondent to be killed while reporting the news, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. His final dispatch: "I go with (Commander George Armstrong) Custer and will be at the death."
1893: Melville E. Stone becomes the general manager of the reorganized AP, a post he holds until 1921. Under his leadership, the AP grows to be one of the world's most prominent news agencies.
1899: AP uses Guglielmo Marconi's wireless telegraph to cover the America's Cup yacht race off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, the first news test of the new technology.
1914: AP introduces the teleprinter, which transmitted directly to printers over telegraph wires. Eventually a worldwide network of 60-word-per-minute teleprinter machines is built.
UP was a competitor back then; remember UPI?
Ford loved the press, even in the early days. This is nothing more than a glorified press release.
I have similar news paper clippings in my collection that talk about Ford and his various Florida trips. Most are as embellished as this is, but as long as it made it in the papers it was OK by Ford. He was a master at having the press give him tons of free advertising.
Did you know Ford had several companies working for him collecting all the Ford related clippings in the newspapers nationwide at his own insistence? He would personally sit and review these on a regular basis. These clipping books were always on the sun porch of Fair Lane where he spent most of his time. Far as I know these clipping books are in the Benson Ford Archives.
If you haven't already, find a copy of William Richards' "The Last Billionaire". Richards was a member of the press as well as a personal friend of Ford. A couple chapters in this book will give you some insight as to how Ford would work the media.
Another excellent source would be David Lewis' "Public Image of Henry Ford".
Just my opinion.