Feb. 16, 1908 Buffalo, NY
The Flyer arrived first in its home town, as motorist waited at the city line to welcome the arrival. After George Schuster conferred with Mr. E.R. Thomas, George Miller was added to the team for additional mechanical support. A few hasty repairs were made at the Thomas factory on 1200 Niagara Street in Buffalo, and there was to be a banquet at the Lafayette Hotel downtown. It was then the race took a serious tone when the Italian Zust failed to stop in Buffalo, taking the lead as they pressed on to Erie, PA. This was no longer a “Gentlemen’s Contest”, but rather a very serious Race.
June 21, 2018 Niagara Falls & Rich Products
The day starts with Niagara Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. How can you not be impressed with Natures beauty that has flowed for millions of years. Some of us ventured to the Cave of The Winds with much more water than wind. The yellow ponchos were more for psychological comfort than practical dryness, but hey that was all part of the experience. After all it’s like a kid and a mud puddle; you don’t really expect them to stay dry!
After a cup of coffee and time to drip-dry, it was off to Rich’s located at 1200 Niagara Street the site of the Thomas Flyer factory. We were directed to a special parking area which would allow their 800 employees at the world headquarters, an opportunity to check out our cars during lunch. Stephen Rich, Innovation Center Chef greeted us, and took us into an amazing central atrium with a massive fire place at the far end. Surrounded by offices and state-of-the-art kitchens it was easy to see that the automotive innovations created hear 110 years ago with the Flyer, had morphed into the creative food innovations we all know today. Even though this had become an ultra modern facility, Steve’s Grandfather Mr. Bob Rich Sr. had made every effort to preserve the legacy of this place. With areas of the original structures still apparent, we were taken to the second floor of what was the original office of E.R. Thomas. The red brick walls were still there, and the view out of the corner office window was just as Great Gramp had described in his conversation with E.R after returning from winning the Race. Then it was down to the innovation kitchen where we sampled F’real a new milkshake creation that topped off a really great day!