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Archive for June, 2015

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June 21st, 2015 by: Christian Gelzer

Speed is a Virtue: Travel in the Mid-Nineteenth Century United States

In 1830 the Lancaster, Ohio school board observed with one voice that if God had meant “his creatures” to travel at the “frightful speed of 15 miles per hour He would have foretold it through His holy prophets.” Such speed was the “device of Satan to lead immortal souls to hell.”[1] Twenty-five years later English…

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June 1st, 2015 by: Peter Westin

Motorsports and Motoring Public at Full Song (1950 to 1965): Measuring Men, Creatively Destructive, or Stimulating Technology?

Watching a motorsport race live is a visceral, sensory experience.[1] The smells are similar across racing categories and can be either accentuated at certain points on the track or mitigated depending on that day’s weather. When the contest begins, the atmosphere nearest the track is permeated with both fuel and exhaust fumes as the cars…

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June 1st, 2015 by: Alison Kreitzer

Speed Bugs: American Motorsports and the Pursuit of Speed, 1926-1932

Speed and Risk in American Entertainment [1] World War I flying ace and racecar driver, Eddie Rickenbacker told readers of the Altoona Tribune that the greatest accomplishment of the 1928 racing season “was the bringing back to America of the automobile speed supremacy of the world.”[2] In April 1928, Philadelphia-native, Ray Keech, reclaimed the World’s…

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