There were also no signs because most people out driving were locals who knew all the turns already. Touch for map. A broken mud guard and a sprung front axle alone attested the hard knocks it had had on its long journey. Until that time, the current route was but a well-traveled wagon road parallel with the Oregon Short Line railroad. Funding provided by General Motors, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, and the Park Foundation. When the tires failed to materialize, however, they continued on after a three-day wait. In Cheyenne, Wyoming, the trio took a short break as they waited for more money to come through the wire, and repaired yet another mechanical failure, this time to the wheel bearings. The car is at the shop & they are to work all night so that I can get away in the morning I go from here to Buffalo. I shall think of you a good deal tomorrow, as I always do. Somewhere along this route, Jackson lost a pair of his glasses. But if there was one thing Horatio had, it was a steadfast commitment to the dream. Jackson did manage to find a telegraph office and wired back to San Francisco for replacement tires to be transported to them along the journey. The trip took 64 days, including numerous delays while the two men waited for parts or paused to hoist the Winton up and over a gully. In the spring and summer of 1903, Jackson and his mechanic, Sewall Crocker, drove this 1903 Winton touring car from San Francisco to New York City. After Cheyenne, Jackson and Horatio both knew that the hard part of the journey was now behind them. I feel confident we can make it.How I wish you were with me & that it was possible for you to take the tripWith a barrel full [of love], I am, as always, yours.Nelson. Horatio Nelson Jackson (March 25, 1872 - January 14, 1955) was an American automobile pioneer. Sign up for my occasional email updates! After delivering their luggage to the section boss we started on for Bitter Creek, crossing two rivers over the railroad bridge. In 1903, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson single handedly silenced a conversation taking place at the San Francisco University Club. The running time to Alturas was five and a half days; about 125 miles per day, without accident or incident worthy of mention. Crocker of Seattle, both of whom are at the Palace ready for the journey. At Mountain Home, Idaho they veered from the Oregon Trail for the first time since near the California border and turned south glancing by the southern edge of the Sawtooth Mountains. "That's why I'm optimistic. Both the Packard and Oldsmobile companies sent their respective automobiles from California with hope of passing Jackson and claiming the title for first automobile to travel across the U.S. , It took 63 days to complete the journey, during which the trek merged with present-day Highway 30 near Pocatello, Idaho, and followed it into Soda Springs, Idaho, and finally into Granger, Wyoming. , At the time of Horatio Jackson's trek, only 150 miles of paved road existed in the country, and gas stations and road maps were non-existent. In 1903, he and driving partner Sewall K. Crocker became the first people to drive an automobile across the United States. Horatio's Drive is a co-production of Florentine Films and WETA. Please give my best love to your mother & tell [my] father & mother that I love them as much as ever. Following the railroad right-of-way seemed the best way to go as they headed out. He then hired a partner/mechanic, Samuel Crocker, who was a successful bicycle racer to accompany him on his journey east.  Another brother, Hollister Jackson, served as Lieutenant governor of Vermont. 5 at three this afternoon, but a message this noon from the train agent says that he has nothing, so it is another day. In 1903, H. Nelson Jackson, Sewall Crocker,  Newspapers at the time gave a variety of stories of how Bud was acquired, including that he was stolen; in a letter to his wife, Nelson said a man sold him the dog for $15 (equivalent to $452 in 2021). Horatio's Drive Follow the route that Horatio Nelson Jackson and his passengers took across the country. I shall write you when I can & shall depend on you to keep them posted.Yours till New York, Nelson.[P.S.] He is also very handy at repairing, a faculty that may prove of value. With lots of love to all I am yours.NelsonP.S. Outside of major cities, spotting a car then was almost the equivalent of seeing a UFO today. We only made 45 miles in our direct route. The worst of it is over & everyone is congratulating us.There are [others] on the way trying to beat us across. [but] I feel confident they will give it up. What roads did exist, were holdovers from the wagon train trading routes of the 1850s, 60s, and 70s the Old West of cowboy and Indian lore. Nelson Jackson, a physician and businessman from Burlington, Vermont, captured the nation's attention when he and Sewall K. Crocker, a mechanic, drove from California to New York. ), additional tanks to hold extra oil and gasoline for emergencies. Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History, NearSoda Springs in Caribou County, Idaho , Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017. Sewall Crocker was a 22 year-old former bicycle racer who had been working in a gas engine factory when Dr. Jackson hired him to be the mechanic and co-driver for the journey. Subsequently, their mileage took a sharp increase andtheir rate of trail damage sharply decreased. The Vermont native had married the daughter of a decorated Civil War general who was one of the richest men in Burlington. So many windmills! Somewhere near Caldwell, Idaho, Jackson and Crocker obtained a dog, a bulldog named Bud. Want to know what happened? , Jackson continued to reside in Burlington, Vermont, with his wife Bertha and Bud the dog. This added several hundred miles to their route but they hoped to avoid the problems that Alexander Winton had faced in the desert sands of Nevada. Many days of the journey, especially in the beginning, were spent parked in a town awaiting replacement parts to arrive via stagecoach or train so they they could continue on. But this newfangled automobile enticed Americans with two things they wanted most: freedom and mobility. There will be breakdowns and tears and stories to last you through the years so get out there and start exploring! Jackson and Crocker set off from San Francisco at 1 p.m. on May 23, 1903. "I had," he later recalled, "succumbed completely to a primary enthusiasm for the newfangled horseless buggy.". Jackson was unable to buy a new tire, but purchased some used inner tubes. Or sometimes I just need to, Read More The Right Word Peter Roget and His ThesaurusContinue, If youve never heard of Snowflake Bentley, then Ive got a treat for you! He also writes about the cannabis industry, outdoor adventure, Native American issues and the culture of the West. This physical limitation defined the spaces people occupied at the last turn of the century and made wandering beyond these informal limits rare and difficult. In 1903, H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker completed the first motor trip across the United States in this car, which Jackson named for his home state. Your Privacy Choices (Opt Out of Sale/Targeted Ads). The trip had to be called off after a one-armed bicyclist made up a 10- day head start from New York and passed the hapless car before it reached Syracuse. Another brother, Hollister Jackson, served as Lieutenant governor of Vermont. He bought a slightly used, two-cylinder, 20hp Winton, which he named the Vermont, after his home state, bade his wife goodbye, and left San Francisco on May 23, carrying coats, rubber protective suits, sleeping bags, blankets, canteens, a water bag, an axe, a shovel, a telescope, tools, spare parts, a block and tackle, cans for extra gasoline and oil, a Kodak camera, a rifle, a shotgun, and pistols.. As I had been trying to steal one we were glad to get him so accepted the present (consideration $15.00). 2023 Behind Every Day - WordPress Theme by Kadence WP. I have lost 5 days. Watch me now come to you.Nel. In Idaho, Jackson acquired Bud, and the bulldog accompanied the pioneering motorists to the East Coast. completed the first transcontinental automobile trip, from San Francisco to New York, in 63 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes. ), coats and sweaters and two small suitcases for their clothes, a set of tools including two jacks, a spade, and a firemans ax, a block and tackle with 150 feet of hemp rope, a small Kodak camera to record his trip (this just warms my little memory-keeping heart! On June 16, somewhere in Idaho, Jackson's coat, containing most of the travelers' money, fell off and was not found. Jackson and Crocker opted to start out following the railroad north into Oregon. The film is based on the book of the same name by Dayton Duncan. York City. They offered locals rides in the car in exchange for a "wild west show". He accepted, even though at age 31 he did not own a car, had practically no experience driving, and had no maps to follow. We left Caldwell at eight oclock and after running a few miles out of town I found that I had forgotten my coat. This is a carousel. The only mishap happened just east of Buffalo, New York, when the Vermont ran into a hidden obstacle in the road and Jackson, Crocker, and Bud were thrown from the car. Keep in mind that most of what we knew about getting around the countryside at this time was oriented around the range of travel comfortable for your horse which on average was onlyabout 10-20 miles. 15 miles into the journey, they blew the first of what would be many, many tires. When the Winton needed repairs, they telegraphed the factory for parts and awaited delivery by railroad. The finishing dash over the plains to the East Coast was as much a struggle with the "buffalo wallows" as it was with the car, but in the end Jackson was not to be denied. Crocker made repairs, but a fuel leak caused them to lose all of their available gasoline, and Jackson rented a bicycle for Crocker to travel 25 miles (40km) to Burns, Oregon, for fuel. Upon reaching the threshold of Jackson's garage, the Vermont's drive chain snapped. At first they lost their cookware, but while still in California, Jackson also lost his glasses. Dr. Jackson left his practice after a diagnosis of tuberculosis. Americans have driven millions of miles back and forth across the country over the years but someone had to be first. 42 38.862 N, 111 42.124 W. Marker is near Soda Springs, Idaho, in Caribou County. All Rights Reserved. View my full disclosure. Once underway again, it was only 3 days later that they ran out of oil. They are all like a lot of kids I have made arrangements to have the Winton agent at New York to take you up the Hudson to meet me. Jackson attended the schools of Toronto and Toronto's collegiate institute. One hundred years later, another doctor is following in Jackson's patched tire tracks. Copyright20062023,Somerightsreserved. They left San Francisco on May 23, 1903, loaded with gear and enthusiasm. The trip,. Roads are better here and they continue to make good time, often driving into the night just to log more miles and get themselves that much closer to home. His traveling companions were Sewall K. Crocker and a bulldog, Bud. Marker is on Soda Point Power Plant Road near Reservoir Road, on the right when traveling south. Car: 1903 Winton two-seat touring car No. Reaching Alturas, California, Jackson and Crocker stopped to wait for the tires.  While attached to the 313th Infantry, 79th Division as a surgeon, Jackson was wounded near Montfaucon during the MeuseArgonne Offensive. , The route of US 30 traces its origin to the early 1900s. Jackson and his wife planned to return to their Burlington, Vermont, home in a few days, and both had been taking automobile driving lessons while in San Francisco. My sense of humor gets me through life. By 1900, he had given up his medical practice and was happily spending his wife Bertha's money on property, travel, horses and, most recently, automobiles. more than 30 times. Jackson and Crocker followed trails, rivers, mountain passes, alkali flats, and the Union Pacific Railroad across the West. Questions? (1) 'Bud,' a stray American bulldog, joined the journey. Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. Its not until they reach Iowa that they finally begin to travel at a decent unimpeded speed, averaging nearly 150 miles per day. Let's share the joy of discovery together. I want to celebrate here by getting my new parts. With 146 illustrations and 1 map Read more Print length 192 pages Language English At Hailey, Idaho, Crocker wired the Winton Motor Carriage Company for more parts, which, combined with the increasing press coverage, spurred the Winton car company to step up their support efforts since to them it meant an increased positive image of the company. His two brothers, each driving his own automobile, came to help him get going again.  When their tires blew out they were required to wind rope around the wheels. Horatio's Journey. The trip, sparked by a $50 gentlemen's wager, took 63 days. I came pretty nearly having cold feet. . An article in the. They helped prove that long-distance road travel was a realif expensive and difficultpossibility. "Which way to Marysville?" Lets follow along on his journey, shall we? The Winton Motor Carriage Company published details about the Jackson-Crocker cross-country trip and emphasized the cars ruggedness and reliability. Im laid-back, sometimes scattered, a little curious, love to laugh, and always up for a fun road trip. (You can see a few clips on the PBS website.) Got onto the right road again and reached Orchid at eleven oclock. Jackson was unable to replenish the tire he blew but was however able to purchase some slightly used inner tubes. Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, otherwise known as "The Mad Doctor," had no idea what he was getting into in 1903 when he strapped a spare tire onto his 20-horsepower Winton touring car and started out from San Francisco's Palace Hotel on the first automobile trip across America. "Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip", Learn how and when to remove this template message, He'd Have to Get Under Get Out and Get Under (to Fix Up His Automobile), The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God, Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony, Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Horatio%27s_Drive:_America%27s_First_Road_Trip&oldid=1107453344, Documentary films about United States history, Articles needing additional references from May 2019, All articles needing additional references, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 30 August 2022, at 02:26. Dr. H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker (and Bud!)  Their trip expended over 800 US gallons (3,000L) of gasoline. Browse letters written by Horatio Nelson Jackson to his wife while on the road, and newspaper articles written about Jackson's epic trip.  They arrived in New York City on July 26, 1903, 63 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes after commencing their journey in San Francisco, in the first automobile to successfully transit the North American continent. Here they prepare to light the acetylene gas headlamps. Most. According to the Winton Companys numbering system, the car he bought was Number 1684 but he chose to christen it with the name. A former U.S. Forest Service firefighter, he has traveled extensively and covered a wide variety of issues during his career, including the Beijing Olympics, Hurricane Katrina, illegal American tourism in Cuba and a 40-day cross country car trip commemorating the history of automobile travel in America. The next day they arrived in Ontario, Oregon, where supplies waited for them. a tow. H. Nelson Jackson, a physician and businessman from Burlington, Vermont, captured the nations attention when he and Sewall K. Crocker, a mechanic, drove from "At the time they made the trip, there was a perception that the American frontier was closed. They were facing a daunting task. After suffering a flat tire on the bicycle, he returned with 4 US gallons (15L) of fuel (which Jackson complained cost him "nearly twenty dollars"), and they returned to Burns to fill up.. "Right down that road," she said and pointed. It had no windshield and no top. Jackson was seated in a gentleman's club when he overheard a discussion at another table about the impracticability of automobiles. This first successful cross-country road trip sealed the American love affair with the ultimate symbol of freedom the automobile. Kesling's entourage will roughly follow the route taken by Jackson through the Sacramento Valley, past Mount Shasta into Alturas, through Oregon and then swinging eastward toward the Rockies. The trouble started with a flat tire near Hayward and, from then on, he and Crocker were alternately working on the car, pulling it out of mud holes, teetering on the edge of cliffs or simply getting lost. Following the war, he became one of the founders of theAmerican Legion, and twice ran forGovernor of Vermont.  Before reaching Cheyenne, however, the car's wheel bearings gave out, and Crocker had to talk a farmer into letting them have the wheel bearings of his mowing machine. The rough and tumble wagon trails which they followed, combined with the noisiness of their Winton, rendered them unable to tell when they would lose valuable items off the back of the car. Following the railroad would also make it easier to access supplies along the way. Ironically enough, I saw the headline for this story the night before I headed to the airport on, Read More The Voice of the AirportContinue, No trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, is complete without a visit to the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. A series of American university professors of history provided background information. Source: 'The Mad Doctor's Drive,' by Ralph Nading Hill; 'Winton 1903,' by Peter C. Kesling. We returned and took supper with the section hand. In 1916, suffragists Nell Richardson and Alice Burke, with their cat Saxon, drove across and around the country to drum up support for voting rights for women. Louise Davis wrote of their attempt, The automobile is a treacherous animal for a long trip.. 2023 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Documentary film maker Ken Burns produced a film, Horatio's Drive, for PBS. [Horatio Nelson Jackson].[P.S.] The possibilities of the open road What natural wonder will we see today? Mr. Crocker is a devotee of the new machines and expert as a chauffeur. The automobile was about to transform American life. When the travelers reached Omaha, Nebraska on July 12 they were able to stitch together a few paved roads in between the stretches of older wagon trails. Jackson was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on March 25, 1872, a son of Samuel Nelson Jackson (1838-1913) and Mary Anne (Parkyn) Jackson (1843-1916). His enthusiasm was matched only by his underestimate of the effort needed to accomplish the journey. I am tired & got to get up early in the morning & damn anxious to get you in my arms. Hi! Who knew there were, Are there any other thesaurus lovers out there? she drove a Maxwell touring car from New York to San Francisco in 59 days. You have done everything in the world to make me happy.I shall just tear up the ground until I can be with you. Heeding the failed attempt by automobile pioneer Alexander Winton (founder of the Winton Motor Carriage Company, which manufactured Jackson's car) to cross the deserts of Nevada and Utah, Jackson decided to take a more northerly route through the Sacramento Valley and along the Oregon Trail. It turned out that the dusty alkali flats the travelers encountered would bother Bud's eyes so much (the Vermont had neither a roof nor windshield) that Jackson eventually fitted him with a pair of goggles. But when he, his mechanic, Sewall Crocker, and American bulldog Bud arrived in New York, a new era in American transportation had begun. The first effort to cross the country in 1899 ended inauspiciously for the car. "From Sea to Sea in a Horseless Carriage", Dr. H.N. (2) A team of horses rescued the car from being swallowed by quicksand. When Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson wagered in May 1903 that he could drive from San Francisco to New York in 90 days, there were only 150 miles of paved road in the entire country. Sewall K. Crocker Sewall K. Crocker, a 22-year-old former professional bicycle racer from Tacoma, Washington, was working in. Jackson decided to take a more northerly route. No sooner than Jackson had finished the repair however, that they then suffered a gasoline leak which wasted all their available fuel. Peter Fimrite is The Chronicle's lead science reporter, covering environmental, atmospheric and ecosystem science. My darling Swipes. THE FIRST TRANSCONTINENTAL AUTOMOBILE ROAD TRIP In 1903, a man named Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson became the first person to drive across the country, from coast to coast. Article from American Heritage . Early life and medical career [ edit] Driving Directions to Prescott, AZ including road conditions, live traffic updates, and reviews of local businesses along the way. H. Nelson Jacksons trip in 1903 inspired dozens of motorists to cross the country. It was also the same year that the Frontier in America was consideredclosed. took Jackson 63 days, cost him $8,000 and left a transcontinental trail littered with broken parts, tools, clothes, flat tires and tears. (c) 2014 Re:West Media House, LLC. Generally speaking, America in 1903 hadno roadsbetween cities, towns, or any other landmarks for that matter. "[Horatio Nelson Jackson], My darling Girl: We have crossed the mountains & dont expect to come to anymore until we get into Idaho. Enter Horatios Drive: Americas First Road Trip, a documentary produced by Ken Burns. Want to know what other interesting things there are to see out on the road? Really, it was just a matter of time before the car took over the roads. Horatio's Drive is the first chapter in our nation's great romance with the road. $8,000 on the trip, including hotel rooms, gasoline, tires, parts, supplies, food, and the cost of the Winton. While in San Francisco's University Club as a guest on May 18, 1903, he agreed to a $50 wager (equivalent to $1,508 in 2021) to prove that a four-wheeled machine could be driven across the country. I have been using thesauruses (thesauri is the preferred plural of the author but thesauruses is definitely more fun to say!) Way out West: H. Nelson Jackson at the wheel of his Winton. Horatio Nelson Jackson departed San Francisco on May 23rd, 1903 for what was to become America's first ever road trip - and all because of a 50 dollar bet made just 5 days prior. I asked her. She extracted the Maxwell from washouts and mudholes with block and tackle, a jack, even fence rails under the wheels. Jackson and Crocker replaced it with the only spare they had, which by the way, happened to be the only right-sized spare tire they could find before they left. At one point, Bud drank bad water and became ill, but survived. "I wanted paw and maw and my husband to see you," she said. (5) Both men and the dog were thrown from the car after striking an obstacle. Having no mechanical experience, Jackson convinced a young mechanic and chauffeur, Sewall K. Crocker, to serve as his travel companion, mechanic, and backup driver. - Behind Every Day, rubber mackintoshes for themselves and the car (remember no roof, no windshield! Im Sheila - a wife, mom to 3, and favorite human of a slightly-neurotic dog. His wife, though supportive of the trip, opted for a much easier train ride home to Vermont. , The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Medical Corps) Horatio N. Jackson, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 313th Infantry Regiment (attached), 79th Division, A. E. F., near Montfaucon, France, September 26-29, 1918. Like Jackson, Ramsey and her three female passengers packed a block and tackle and used it often in the muddy Midwest. Very few of our citizens had ever seen this, one of the wonders of the century, and large crowds gazed with curious interest at the horseless wagon. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. The axle crank and two connecting rods broke and they had to send to the Cleveland factory to replace them. We had no trouble in crossing railroad bridges With practice, bumping over bridge ties is no great task. When I telegraph you to come down leave on the first train, telephone the agency you are at the Holland & I will telegraph you both then come. Sidebar ads are available in 125 x 125 and 480 x 60 sizes, in bi-monthly or six month intervals. This is a bad start for our first eleven days out. This spur-of-the-moment trip, partially based on a bet, unknowingly turned into a race. My darling Swipes,Just a line to say that I am still alive Our things arrived this morning & we held divine services in the Blacksmith shop. The automobile with Jackson and Crocker, crossing the continent, which left here Thursday was badly smashed up twelve miles east of this city on a smooth road while running twenty five miles an hour. It will be undertaken by Dr. H. Nelson Jackson of Vermont and S.K. Jackson had made it from San Francisco in 63 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes - well within his wager of 90 days. As luck would have it, the movie was available on Amazon prime for just a few more days so I immediately added it to the top of my list.