Thursday, June 26, 2014

A New New York Driver

So, the Daughter passed her road test this week, and of course that got me to thinking about the history of the New York driver's licence - which lead me to this  wonderful article in the New York Times.   You can scroll through images starting with a 1910 chauffeur's license right on thru 2013.  Go ahead, make the jump, I'll wait.

Now for the Bethlehem connection.

Below is Andrew J. Earl's 1915 chauffeur's license.  Earl lived on McCormack Road in Slingerlands.

Here is Mr. Earl in his automobile.  A note on the back of the photo says he was "one of the first in Slingerlands to have a car.  He knew how to take care of it.  Mr. Sprong sent him to Boston to learn how to repair and maintain an automobile."  You might remember Mr. Sprong from earlier blog posts.

And now for a history mystery.  I love this photo of the two couples in an automobile.  It is a photo postcard and the original item is in the Town's collection.  I looked at again this afternoon.  Written on the back is the date 1910 and the two men are identified.  Oliver Wright is behind the wheel and Scott Wright is in the back seat.  The women are unidentified.  It seems to me that something is not quite right with the auto in the picture.  Look at the area in front of the steering wheel.  Doesn't it seem strange?  The whole vehicle looks flat and kind of fake. I wonder if the couples are posing in a mock up of an automobile.  Perhaps the postcard is a souvenir from a fair or festival?  It is a mystery.

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