Tag Archives: A. L. Westgard

What’s on our Holiday Gift List?

As many of you know, we’ve been quite busy developing items at Cruise-IN.com. As always, these are unique items only available at our shop. Let’s see what’s in the galleries.

We created the next three items to share some of the experiences of auto travel in the early part of the 20th century.

Hoosier Tour Tales of a Pathfinder Motor Manners
Hoosier Tour
A 1913 Indiana to
Pacific Journey
Tales of a
Pathfinder
Motor Manners

Hoosier Tour examines how the 1913 Indiana Automobile Manufacturers’ Association Indiana-Pacific Tour helped generate interest for building roads, like the proposed Ocean-to-Ocean Rock Highway later to be known as the Lincoln Highway. At that time, the IAMA Tour was one of the largest continental tours attempted in the United States.

The Hoosier tourists embarked on a month-long trek from Indianapolis to Los Angeles to promote the Good Roads Movement as well as show that these Indiana-made cars had the stamina to make the trip. They traveled on some decent roads, some completed the night before they arrived, and some that presented some perilous twists.

Hoosier Tour chronicles this trip and provides a glimpse into the hardships and accomplishments they encountered along the way.

More on: Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Journey

Our republished version of the 1921 Tales of a Pathfinder is a beautifully bound chronicle of a true pioneer of early automotive history. Westgard recounts his many adventures in his role as trailblazer for the Good Roads Movement.

In the early part of the 20th century, U.S. highways and byways were in deplorable shape. Rains drenched the dirt roads and often left a gumbo-like substance making travel by cart or car nearly impossible.

For progress to continue, particularly within the automotive industry, we needed better roads. Plus, the Good Roads Movement needed trailblazers to lead the way. Westgard was one of these people.

By the time Tales of a Pathfinder was first published, Westgard had traveled thousands of miles to charter the way west for the automobile to follow. He had endured life-threatening blizzards, scarcity of gasoline stations, and blinding dust storms among other obstacles to his mission.

Tales of a Pathfinder is Westgard’s own story and impressions as he wrote them in 1920.

More on: Tales of a Pathfinder

Our beautifully bound republished version of Motor Manners provides Emily Post’s advice and rules for highway safety. After all, according to Post, “bad motoring manners can be murder.”

Even years after her death, Emily Post is still known as the resource to consult on etiquette in polite society. Her reputation was cemented in history in 1921 when her Book on Etiquette was first published. From that springboard, she developed a syndicated newspaper on etiquette carried by newspapers throughout the United States.

Eventually the National Highway Users Conference approached her to share her advice about motoring on the highways. The result was the pamphlet entitled Motor Manners published in 1949. Although the underlying purpose was to promote highway safety, perhaps the group thought that the influx of female drivers on the road after World War II would respond better to a list of manners rather than a set of rules from a driver’s manual.

This booklet is the republished version of Post’s original writing. The inside pages consist of her advice to the motorists of the 1950’s.

More on: Motor Manners

It is our wish to make finding holiday gift purchases for your auto obsessed friends a lot easier. Check all of these and other items out at our Bookstore.

Our Journey Continues in Celebrating Car Culture

We are again excited about exploring a new auto-related subject that we believe hasn’t received much attention at least in recent years. We’re not sure where this exploration may lead, but the discovery process should be interesting and challenging. But, it is a good time to review where our journey in celebrating car culture has led us.

Indiana Cars jacket

Our exploration and celebration our car culture took a serious turn about 10 years ago when we published Indiana Cars: A history of the automobile in Indiana. In 2013, we updated the book and published a second edition. Inside we take a look of the innovations and pioneers who made a tremendous difference in the industry.

Click on this link to see more about Indiana Cars: A history of the automobile in Indiana.

Hoosier Tour

Next was Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Tour. The book examines how an intrepid group from the Indiana Automobile Manufacturers’ Association traveled primitive pathways to help generate interest for building roads, like the proposed Ocean-to-Ocean Rock Highway later to be known as the Lincoln Highway. At that time, the IAMA Tour was one of the largest continental tours attempted in the United States.

Click on this link to see more about Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Tour.

Tales of a Pathfinder

Hoosier Tour led to a couple of other small books. For example, Tales of a Pathfinder is AL Westgard’s own account of exploring the trails that eventually led to improved highways. We were very impressed his pioneering work and wanted to share that with other car fanatics.

Click on this link to see more about Tales of a Pathfinder.

There is still much more to explore, and we look forward to the journey. For now, follow the links to learn more about our published works:

For more information on Indiana cars & companies follow this link.

Finding Your Way – Part Two

As I mentioned in a previous article, finding your way along America’s highways was not always as easy as it is today. One auto pioneer who made our journeys easier was Anton L. Westgard.

Today, his contributions are recognized as little more than a footnote in early automotive history, but he deserves more. We discovered him while working on our book Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Tour. He became a celebrity for his trailblazing efforts by the time his book Tales of a Pathfinder was published in 1920.

Previous to 1913, A.L. Westgard established a touring record for automobilists by crossing the continent three times in 147 days in a stock automobile while collecting data for a series of strip maps published by the American Automobile Association.

A.L. Westgard 1913
A.L. Westgard 1913

On June 2, 1913, Westgard, as the new vice president of the National Highways Association, left New York City on a tour of 17,000 miles of American roads. The majority of his travels were over terrain that could hardly be called roads. The routes across the Rockies, Sierras, and deserts were over country in which trails were recently designated. The purpose of the trip was to compile first-hand data by a competent civil engineer, geologist, and road expert for a report of the NHA. The association hoped to use the data to convince the federal government to build roads.

Westgard was the recognized expert in preparation of road data. Since 1910, while he was engaged in his work with the American Automobile Association, he opened up and logged the Santa Fe Trail. He also laid out routes for the Glidden and other tours, as well as a series of three transcontinental trails. These were known as the “Trail to the Sunset,” “Midland Trail,” and the “Overland Trail.” The Overland Trail was the northern-most trail to the northwest.

In 1913, after leaving the IAMA Indiana-Pacific Tour in San Francisco in late July, Mr. Westgard and his Premier automobile were shipped to Seattle in preparation for additional trailblazing. He then retraced some of his earlier routes from Seattle through Portland to San Francisco and Los Angeles. In late October, he left on his return trip to New York via San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso, Dallas, Little Rock, Memphis, and Nashville.

A.L. Westgard encounters a covered wagon</br>
A.L. Westgard encounters a covered wagon near Big Springs, Nebr. 1912

Westgard’s goal with the NHA was to mark out and plot each of the principal roads in the 48 States with the exception of Michigan by the end of 1914. NHA asserted that 50,000 miles of national highways – a little more than one-fifth of the total mileage of public roads in the country – would directly serve two-thirds of the entire population. The association’s aim was improvement of these roads.

For 1914, he planned to cover 18,000 miles of highways in the Middle Western and Southern states. That year’s journey started from New Orleans, LA, and went as far north as Pembina, ND, on the Canadian border, east to Tallahassee, FL, and west to Cody, WY. He covered the roughly 18,000-mile distance in a little more than seven months.

In the summer of 1915, Westgard published his map showing the main motor travel routes with special emphasis given to transcontinental and other long-distance highways. A separate map published by NHA showed the 50,000 miles of national highways advocated by the association.

Two Trails Across Continent</br>
Two Trails Across Continent published by The New York Times 1915

There is a good chance that some of those early two-lane byways that you are familiar with today were covered by A.L. Westgard over 100 years ago. We salute this “Daniel Boone of the Gasoline Age.”

For more information on Indiana auto pioneers follow this link.

Books sharing auto history

As some of you might know, we republished two books sharing auto history in 2013. They focus on travel in the early days of the automobile.

Tales of a Pathfinder
This republished version of the 1921

Tales of a Pathfinder is a beautifully bound chronicle of a true pioneer of early automotive history. Westgard recounts his many adventures in his role as trailblazer for the Good Roads Movement.

“Daniel Boone of the Gasoline Age” is an apt way to describe Anton L. Westgard. He was one of the pioneers who helped build the foundation for automotive travel. Without the pathfinding excursions of Westgard and others like him, the way west would be a tangle of buffalo traces and weed infested country lanes.

In the early part of the 20th century, U.S. highways and byways were in deplorable shape. Rains drenched the dirt roads and often left a gumbo-like substance making travel by cart or car nearly impossible.

Tales of a Pathfinder is Westgard’s own story and impressions as he wrote them in 1920.

More on: Tales of a Pathfinder at Amazon.com

Motor Manners

This beautifully bound republished version of Motor Manners provides Emily Post’s advice and rules for highway safety. After all, according to Post, “bad motoring manners can be murder.”

Even years after her death, Emily Post is still known as the resource to consult on etiquette in polite society. Her reputation was cemented in history in 1921 when her Book on Etiquette was first published. From that springboard, she developed a syndicated newspaper on etiquette carried by newspapers throughout the United States.

Eventually the National Highway Users Conference approached her to share her advice about motoring on the highways. The result was the pamphlet entitled Motor Manners published in 1949. Although the underlying purpose was to promote highway safety, perhaps the group thought that the influx of female drivers on the road after World War II would respond better to a list of manners rather than a set of rules from a driver’s manual.

This booklet is the republished version of Post’s original writing. The inside pages consist of her advice to the motorists of the 1950’s.

More on: Motor Manners at Amazon.com

We’ve enjoyed the work of researching, writing, and republishing these books. It is our wish that you will enjoy these stories about travel in an earlier era. Enjoy the drive!

For more information on our bookstore follow this link.