Feb 12, 1908 Times Square
250,000 people gathered in Times Square to see the start of a race around the world. Six teams from France, Germany, Italy and the United States were about to do the impossible. The automobile was considered by many people to be “the most fragile and capricious thing on earth, after a woman.. “ Henry Ford and Ransom Olds refused to enter one of their cars, saying none would make it past Chicago. It would be up to the Buffalo built Flyer and the Thomas factory Chief Mechanic, George Schuster to represent the United States. George was 35 years old, and found out he was to go on the Race the day before it started. In the coming BLOG entries you will see stunning examples of “Yankee Ingenuity” and stead-fast determination that kept the Thomas Flyer going to achieve final victory for America 169 days later.
June 20, 2018
Time to hit the road! Got our bag breakfast, and were in the cars rolling at 6AM. Terrific conditions, with cool morning air, and surprisingly light traffic as we head up RTE 9 then the Kingston Bridge to I-87/90 to our lunch stop at Canastota. With a planned arrival at 10:30 we were at the Exit with the toll paid by 10:30!
What a reception, when Canastota rolled out the red carpet with the Police Chief waiting at the exit! Escorted into town with lights flashing we arrived at the Historic Marker next to the Village office, with a crowd extending into the street including the Mayor. Overhead a drone was flying to take aerial photos (see the Teams and Mayor with Historic Marker above), then we went into the Court Room for a presentation on the important role Canastota played on February 14, 1908 when the Flyer crew stayed the night. The Mayor even issued a Proclamation honoring our arrival 110 years later! Lunch in the Village Board room, and on to the Canal Town Museum where Joe showed us the special Great Race exhibit. The best part of what we are doing is the people we meet, and the historic connections we learn along the way. Canastota has certainly set the “Gold Standard” from the very first day…