Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Hundred Years Ago at the Chatham Fair

These days, the Columbia County Fair ends on Labor Day. In 1914, the Chatham Fair opened on Labor Day. If you went to the fair in 1914, here is one of the exhibits you might have visited.

Automobiles were, of course, a relatively new thing in 1914. So much so that it was typical for it to be reported in the newspaper whenever a local resident purchased a car. Much has changed in a hundred years, including the disappearance of two of the cars exhibited at the 1914 fair: the Hupmobile and the Studebaker.

The first Hupmobile, named for its creator, Robert Craig Hupp of Grand Rapids, MI, was introduced to the public at the Detroit Auto Show in 1909.

The last Hupmobiles were produced in 1940.

Henry and Clement Studebaker were about a hundred years ahead of their time when they started making automobiles. Their first car, introduced in 1902, was an electric car. Thomas Edison bought the second one they produced. In 1904, however, the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company began producing gasoline-powered automobiles.

Studebaker produced its most memorable cars, those with the bullet nose design, in the 1950s, establishing Studebaker as a leader in automobile styling.

The last Studebakers were produced in 1966.


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