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The Horseless Age

Reprinted from The CART, Official Newsletter of the Tottenville Historical Society, Vol XI, Issue 4, June 2015:

The Horseless Age: The New York Herald-Atlanta Journal Good Roads Tour

By 1909, the transition from horse to automobile for travel was well under way and road tours across America were becoming quite popular. On October 25th of that year, sixty-two cars left New York City en route to Atlanta, Georgia. From Manhattan they traveled to Staten Island by ferry, then drove to Tottenville to catch the Tottenville-Perth Amboy ferry and on to Philadelphia. One can imagine the number of trips it took to transport all those cars across the Arthur Kill on the relatively small side-wheeler!

The second car to arrive in Philly was a Chalmers-Detroit Bluebird driven by baseball legend Ty Cobb (1886-1961), “the Georgia Peach.” Cobb had made his major league debut in 1905 at age 18. Although often described as controversial, complex, and even difficult throughout his career, Ty Cobb is ranked among the top ten professional players in the history of the game. By the time he retired in 1928, he had set 90 Major League Baseball records.

Cobb didn’t win the New York-Atlanta Good Roads Tour, but we think it’s fun to think that such a dominant figure in U.S. sports history waited to ride the Tottenville ferry….just like many of us did years ago.