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Centennial Monograph: The Horseless Carriage in Maynard


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Centennial Monograph: The Horseless Carriage in Maynard


The automobile came into use shortly after the incorporation of Maynard. A short account of its introduction and growth of the automobile in town life.


Birger Koski





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A newspaper report of June 23, 1899 tells us that a "horseless carriage is expected to be landed in town soon”. It has been ascertained that Dr. F. U. Rich was the owner and the first to have an automobile in Maynard. The second and third owners shortly after were Frank Harriman of Harriman*s Laundry and David Loewe, local businessman. Thus opened the era of the horseless carriage.

Car ownership for the next decade and a half remained a rarity until Henry Ford started his mass production line and the $5.00 day. During this period, however, the few dealers that sold cars also rented them for pleasure trips (price for a party of two was 50¢ an hour). Businesses and commercial establishments early started converting from the horse-drawn wagon to the horseless carriage.

It was not until after the first World War that the auto came into its own. By 1925 the Assessors' report indicated 879 motor vehicles, one for every nine persons in town, and earlier, in 1920, six Socony gas dealers in business in town.

The dirt roads of 1900 became macadam during this period, new traffic rules were promulgated as necessity arose, and parking in the rumble seat became a national pastime!

The 1967 Town Report records 4508 motor vehicles in town, one for every two people.

The movement of people and goods from one place to another has been taken over by the motor vehicle. We would venture to suggest however, that public transportation in the 1970's will of necessity again come into its own, and not necessarily of the Internal combustion type: pollution of the air will force this.

Prepared by Birger R. Koskl.