1913 Indy 500

I'm picking up the story in 1913, which is where there are a load of pictures of the Indianapolis 500.  I have another scrapbook full of family photos with cars, the Chalmers factory, a tire company, and more... cars.  I think I'll spare you all the tedium of looking at pages and pages of old... cars.  I'm trying to get to the airplanes as quickly as I can, but the racing photos occupy a large chunk of these scrapbooks.  There are also a few motorcycle racing photos just prior to these.  I'm open to requests if you'd like to see them.

I have no way of knowing whether Van and Ivan had crew passes, press passes or none of the above, but there are some fabulous photos taken on the track, and in the pits.  Perhaps someone will know the race particulars better and fill us in. 

I began thinking of how far it is from Amsterdam, New York to the speedway.  I'm from California, originally, so what do I know?  Turns out that today you can make the drive in about 13-14 hours by interstate.  In 1913 you would have probably taken the train, and the New York Central Railway (seriously, look at this link) would probably have been the choice.  I won't speculate on the time, but I can imagine... oh wait, I'm speculating.  It took a while, longer than it takes today by a wide margin, what with changing cars and such.  The scrapbooks suggest that the whole family took the trip, which would have included Cora and Corinne.  I guess the train ride was boring to them, since there are no photos of the actual trip.  Anyway, pack up our trunks with cameras and film and off we go.

Pre-race pits of Louis Disbrow.  High tech jack there, fellas.
Jules Goux won the race in this Peugeot. He hasn't started drinking, yet.
Pre-race. Jack Tower's Mason, Harry Endicott's Nyberg.

One of my favorites.  Louis Disbrow, perhaps qualifying? (stands are empty)

I think these photos are from qualifying, since you can see the #15 Peugeot behind Joules Goux's car in the pits. This car did not race, and I have a photo of it with the side of the hood blown open, about the size of a runaway piston or something.

I changed my cropping with this last photo, and I'll likely stay with this from now on.  the first three photo's show that the prints were hand cut, which I thought was cool at first, but now I just think its distracting.  Also, in the last photo, I'm wondering if Van or Ivan was standing on the track, or did they find a hole in the fence to shove the camera through for the shot?  Finally, it's just a fabulous composition, probably the result of releasing the shutter right when the car was in the center of the photo!  Heh.

That's enough for tonight... a few more 1913 coming very soon.  I've decided I'm not going to rush forward to the airplanes (my apologies to Brian Karli, who was the inspiration for this blog, btw).  There are just too many good photos to pass over in order to get there.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these photos of the past. I enjoy old time pictures and the 1000th of a second in time they depict whether a particular event or the flash of time in an indiviual's life.

    I build scale models of old race cars from scratch and most of what I use to build my cars are from old photos like these. I'm glad that people like you share these with the rest of us and the stories of the people that are present in them. They seem to give a clearer glimpse into the history of these events than some of the "historians" .