By Motor to the Golden Gate

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About the Book

In 1915, journalist Emily Post set out from New York to investigate whether it was possible to drive comfortably across the country to San Francisco in an automobile. This is a reprint of Post’s only travel book, originally published by Collier’s Weekly seven years before she became famous for her book on etiquette. It describes her travels with her cousin Alice and her Harvard undergraduate son as they played the American tourists from Niagara Falls to cave dwellings near Santa Fe. A first-hand account of elite automotive travel before the process was democratized after World War I, it also shows the history of the southwest, particularly in the myths that made towns such as Santa Fe “authentic” tourist destinations, and provides contemporary comments on class and ethnicity.
A new introduction includes a biographical sketch of Post and explains the context of her journey in the heroic age of motoring. Accompanying the text are many original photographs, sketch maps showing the route, and Post’s meticulous daily lists of expenditure, a valuable historical document showing the price of everything from car repairs to tips. New to this addition are explanatory footnotes and an appendix giving the miles Post traveled each day, noting the cities of departure and destination and the hotel for each night.

About the Author(s)

Award winning historian Jane Lancaster lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Bibliographic Details

Emily Post
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 278
Bibliographic Info: 60 photos, maps, appendix, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1940-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8147-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Introduction by Jane Lancaster      1

Preface      11

I. It Can’t Be Done—But Then, It Is Perfectly Simple      13

II. Albany, First Stop      25

III. A Breakdown      30

IV. Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana      36

V. Luggage and Other Luxuries      55

VI. Did Anybody Say “Chicken”?      58

VII. The City of Ambition      61

VIII. A Few Chicagoans      66

IX. Tins      71

X. Mud!!      77

XI. In Rochelle      82

XII. The Weight of Public Opinion      85

XIII. Muddier!      89

XIV. One of the Fogged Impressions      94

XV. A Few Ways of the West      97

XVI. Halfway House      104

XVII. Next Stop, North Platte!      112

XVIII. The City of Recklessness      127

XIX. A Glimpse of the West That Was      141

XX. Our Little Sister of Yesterday      157

XXI. Ignorance with a Capital I      161

XXII. Some Indians and Mr. X.      164

XXIII. With Nowhere to Go but Out      175

XXIV. Into the Desert      178

XXV. Through the City Unpronounceable to an Exposition Beautiful      191

XXVI. The Land of Gladness      204

XXVII. The Mettle of a Hero      210

XXVIII. San Francisco      218

XXIX. The Fair      232

XXX. “Unending Sameness” Was What They Said      239

XXXI. To Those Who Think of Following in Our Tire Tracks      242

XXXII. On the Subject of Clothes      248

XXXIII. How Far Can You Go in Comfort?      254

Appendix: Emily Post’s Journey, April 25–June 8, 1915      257

Index by Jane Lancaster      259

Book Reviews & Awards

“well researched…Jane Lancaster is to be congratulated for giving this story a second life”—The Horseless Carriage Gazette; “the book is a hoot…voluminous and interesting footnotes…this is a super book for anybody who tours in pre-World War I cars—and a delightful read for everybody else”—Old Cars Weekly.