Thanks for posting this is a great advertisement.
In the first paragraph it says " When a man buys an automobile he feels rather timid every time he drives it, for fear he will crash into some pedestrein and mame or injure the person for life"
Perhaps he shouldn't drive on the sidewalks!
I guess it's a people catcher instead of a cow catcher on the trains.
Good thing something like this doesn't come along today, the gov. would make it a mandatory accessory! KGB
Well, people had a different behaviour on streets back when cars were new - they were used to slow traffic and strayed on the streets right in front of traffic like nothing could happen to them. See this film from San Francisco days before the 1906 earthquake for an example:
They still wander out in traffic without looking at the Old Car Festival! You have to be on your toes all the time when driving there. People nowadays don't know how long it takes to stop an old car.
I have heard some similar devices in NW Australia called a kangaroo catcher. (It was used on newer cars)