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WQW #8: Transportation Moving Along

The schedule for WQW this week is Taste or Writer’s Choice, but for some reason I have it written down in my paper calendar as Transportation. So I’m going with Writer’s Choice this week. For a great example of Taste check out Loving Life this week.

Last week you all shared your travel plans, and what fun and exciting places you want to visit and have visited. Let’s piggyback on travel this week and discuss transportation – how you’ll get there and how you’ll get around while you’re there.

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IT’S EASY TO PLAY ALONG WITH #WQW

This weekly writing challenge runs from Wednesday through Tuesday. The only rule is to use a quote. If you want to participate, create a pingback to link your post. Not sure how to do that? See how to create pingbacks here. Be sure to link to this post, not my page.

Featured Bloggers for WQW #7 Dream Travel Plans

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#WQW #8 – Topic: Transportation – Anything that Moves You

Definition:  the movement of goods and persons from place to place and the various means by which such movement is accomplished.

Today I am concentrating on one tiny aspect of transportation – the switch from buggies to cars 1857-1912. Don’t let my choices limit your thinking, though! Transportation is a huge topic: anything that moves on land, sea, air, or time (if you want to get magical) and for whatever purpose.

Other Challenges that Inspired WQW #

Transportation: Out With the Old, In With the New

This is the beginning, and the dawn of a new era of transportation.

Shervin Pishevar

Monday for SquareOdds, I posted photos from Colonial Williamsburg depicting life as it was in the 1600-1700s. Chel Owens and I had a short conversation about what happens to “old items.” That conversation inspired my WQW post today.

Sometimes we find a bit of modern garbage, and sometimes I wonder what someone from the future might guess it was for.  It’s going to be like “Wall-E.” We’ve really got to stop.

Chel Owens

Tour of Studebaker Museum in South Bend, IN

My brother Randy and I had the privilege of touring the Studebaker Museum in South Bend. It is an amazing tribute to a company devoted to transportation for over 100 years. Without this beautiful museum, Studebaker’s contributions to transportation would probably have been forgotten since it the factories closed in March 1963.

1857

1857 Studebaker Phaeton A Phaeton is a carriage with a nominal body and large, lightly sprung wheels. Studebaker built this carriage (not pictured) as a premium for one of South Bend’s first fairs.

I couldn’t find the picture that went with this sign because many of my photos were corrupted and had to be deleted. I included the sign as part of the timeline.

1903

1904

“This is the oldest surviving gasoline-powered Studebaker. After two years of electric vehicle production, Studebaker built its first gasoline-powered cars in 1904.” It was a “2-cylinder, opposed, horsepower engine” and cost $1,600 in 1904 when new.

Compare the cost of the Phaeton at $202. and the horseless carriage at $1,600. The average income in 1904 was $200-$400 per year.

1911

Studebaker built 1,841 electric automobiles from 1902 to 1912. …”The coup has a top speed of 21 miles per hour and a range of 70 miles. The coup’s 48-volt Westinghouse batteries weighed 970 pounds. It cost $1,850 when new.”

Again a corrupted file prevented me from sharing what it looked like. I thought it was interesting that they built the electric vehicle first, and they were only in production for 10 years. Electric trains operated at about that same time (1904-1924) in Visalia and were discontinued because they were too expensive to operate.

I wonder what might have happened if they had continued to concentrate on building and improving electric vehicles starting in 1902. Our lives and air might be so different today.

1914-1917

When World War I started Studebaker stepped in as the primary producer of military transportation.

Studebaker – a major supplier of military transportation and equipment

1919

1919 Horse-drawn Izzer Buggy
This photograph, though blurry, shows the type of equipment needed to keep the 1919 Izzer Buggy in working order.

1931-1933

The change from horses and buggies to autos in the early 1900s went through a huge metamorphic period. Even though the first gas-powered vehicles were built by Studebaker in 1904, they were still producing Izzer Buggies in 1919 and were producing electric vehicles, both private and commercial from 1902-1912.

Gas and electric-powered cars solved some of the problems of the times. Since horses and buggies diminished as a primary means of transportation, we no longer worry about manure in the streets. Pollution problem solved! We have paved roads without too many ruts rather than mud or log roads. Long-distance transportation problems solved.

What Happens to the Relics of Transportation?

Getting back to my conversation with Chel, what about pollution during the buggy period? The piles and piles of manure are gone. The horses from that era are gone. Once in a while, we still see old wheels, buggy seats, and other relics but not often. Where did they all go?

The auto industry has caused a much larger pollution problem. This is where the Wall-E image emerges. We now have a lot of old cars and car parts, gas tanks, oil cans, pipelines, and anything else that has made cars work in junkyards, landfills, and large bodies of water all over the world.

Hobbyists have revived and restored some of these relics, which we see and admire at car shows. Many times they update the cars with modern amenities that we have come to love – like backup cameras. Museums pop up to revere certain models like the Studebaker.

Repurposing old vehicles – Restaurants, gas stations, auto dealers, even people using old cars and trucks as yard art helps eliminate auto pollution.

Once a product, a type of transportation, or equipment gets introduced into society it’s so hard to change, even if it is harmful to the environment and to people. To make changes, you completely change the way society lives and that takes time as we saw with the metamorphosis from buggies to cars. What will become the norm of transportation next? Driverless vehicles?

Transportation will continue to change. I invite you to share your quotes, ideas, and photos of your favorite forms and eras of transportation


Flash Fiction: I’d rather be …

Transportation is the center of the world! It is the glue of our daily lives. When it goes well, we don’t see it. When it goes wrong, it negatively colors our day, makes us feel angry and impotent, curtails our possibilities.

Robin Chase

February 21, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “I’d rather be…” You fill in what comes next. What would a character(s) rather be doing and why? How can you use the phrase as a literary device? Go where the prompt leads!

I’d Rather Be…

“You look a million miles away, Snowden.”

Snowden shifted and poured himself another glass of water from the water cooler and stared out the 15th story window at the boats on the Chicago River.

“I’d rather be in one of those boats. Or better yet in a gondola riding up the Main Canal.”

Sheldon sat down hard in one of the plastic chairs, putting his head in his palms. 

Not me, I’d rather be in a helicopter flying over the Hawaiian Island volcanoes. ”

So what are we going to do?

“I’d rather be employed,” the boss snarled. “Get busy.”

Upcoming on Always Write

  • Story Chat: Next month’s story will be brought to you by Yvette Prior of Priohouse Blog.
  • Tomorrow is the deadline for linking your PPAC (Photographing Public Art Challenge) posts. There is no theme to this challenge, but public art must be free and visible. This challenge could be linked to both posts this week if you’ve got some travel photos to share.

Happy Hump day. Have a great rest of the week, and enjoy these last few days of SquareOdds.

84 replies »

  1. These are some neat photos of transportation and important questions raised. I feel we can’t possibly ‘modernize’ without creating waste that doesn’t break down naturally in the world. Should we return to candles and human waste for fertilizer? Disease and famine?

    There’s got to be a solution better for everyone and more sustainable for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You always make us think, Chel. Without a total destruction of our society, which could happen soon, I don’t think we will move backwards to those levels.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Someone has to organize things and then pitch it to the ones who make decisions. It’s much like the movie “Don’t Look Up.” If the organizers are right and the authorities listen, make the necessary laws and edicts, then the people agree with them, changes occur. If not, they don’t. There’s a huge lesson in that regarding the pandemic. People didn’t really know what to do. There was a conflict of information. Basically they relied on the preventive actions from the 1918 influenza pandemic – masks. The medicine they concentrated on was more testing than corrective. The vaccines are still not proven and have side affects – my veins may be one of them. Yet, researchers and policy makers did the best they could given the time frame and knowledge they had. Historians will be drawing conclusions and studying trends for decades.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I about panicked when I realized what I did. LOL Your post was perfect to use instead of mine. People went both ways and their own way, too.

      Like

    • Lovely pictures and quotes. We are so blessed to have our feet and legs to get around. For those who have lost them, it’s good that we have prosthetics and wheel chairs. But the independence allowed by our feet and legs is amazing.

      Like

  2. You had me at the Studebaker Museum. I hadn’t realized that they were in the carriage business for so long before they were into motor vehicles. Fascinating history. Sorry for the corrupted files and missing pics. I know what that’s like.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely collection of Studebaker images, Marsha. They looked well taken care of, and even the seats like the red ones are shiny. It’s fascinating how vehicles and transportation were so different some decades ago. At times repurposing vehicles is friendlier to the environment than inventing newer, faster vehicles, and glad you brought that up. Driverless vehicles are somewhat here in the form of Tesla but not entirely accessible for everyone at the moment. It will be interesting to see how our everyday cars that we drive around in evolve in the future. Hope you are well, Marsha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mabel, Thanks for the comment. As Chel pointed out, we are going to have to do something as a global society. Stuff wears out. If it decomposes, then life goes on. If it doesn’t we become Wall-E.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah that disruptive technology, the internal combustion engine. If my gran was here, listening to our moans about the damage cars do she’d scoff. She used to talk about the streets in her Edwardian South London full of manure and how disgusting it was. But the worst thing for her was the horses that slipped and injured a leg. Having them shot in front of you or screaming waiting fir someone to shoot them… as she said she never heard a car scream in pain… all points of view welcomed!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like I said, it solved one problem, but that wasn’t one I’d ever heard. Wow, that would be traumatic. I don’t think cars scream, but the people inside of them sure do. I was in an accident at age 17 and went through the windshield. I remember screaming. I remember waking up because I heard moaning. I remember looking down at myself and realizing that the moans were mine. Fortunately, no one shot me to put me out of my misery and we were just miles from the closest hospital in Portland, OR.

      Like

  5. Ohhh that museum looks awesome. We visited a car museum in Indianapolis that was super cool. I always love to see how people restore old cars. So cool! I loved all the cool information you shared as well. So fascinating. I often think of what it would be like to live in days where transportation was so different than what we experience today. My first car was a 1966 mustang.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Kirstin, I loved the 1966 Mustangs. My first car – 56 Chevy – didn’t work very well actually it was parked in front of my mom’s house and my friend who sold it to me was supposed to fix it. Mostly I drove my mom’s 1965 VW Bug. I’m from Indianapolis but I don’t think I’ve been to the museum. It probably has to do with the Speedway. That’s a huge deal there. 🙂

      Like

  6. to be quite honest….I just want to travel….even if it’s in my own state. A RV would be excellent if I could take my doggo’s along. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photo’s of RVs, caravans or the like. I may have missed the mark this week but It’s done now. Have a good one and thanks for featuring my post last week.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How interesting about the Studebaker and its role in WWI as a military supplier, Marsha. Too bad about some of your corrupted images, but you still have a lot of wonderful shots to tell the story. Can you imagine a world where we used horse-drawn carriages? A lot of folks have the quads up here for scooting around their properties and short trips on the streets. BTW, I thought WQW was to be about senses: taste this week? I’ll have to go with Writer’s choice this Sunday. Anyway, a wonderful post showing the quick evolution from marriage to gas-powered vehicles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right. I had written it down in my calendar, then I must have made changes when I created the page or vice versa. OOPS! I should go back and realign my calendar. I’m trying to be too organized. LOL Thanks for letting me know. I did not get it done last night. I’m trying to get through my last library book before it’s due tomorrow. So I didn’t do my post until this morning, which means all day off and on between other things. It’s so much easier to stay up all night, LOL. I have another surgery on Friday, so I’ll try to get that post done tomorrow. BTW, it snowed about 5 inches here today. I went out for a second to walk the dog. Very chilly but pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The whole US is COLD! We had a windchill yesterday of -10 here! “Warmer” today, got to 20F. No worries, I’m using my quotes for “Fresh” as writer’s choice. I’m also publishing my Fitness Friday post and linking back to your January fitness post and WOTY. I’ve been busy, too, and subbing tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is super cold! It’s really pretty here and hovered around 35, I think but kept snowing most of the day. It’s supposed to be sunny and warmer tomorrow. You can link your fitness post to this week’s WQW, too because it is writer’s choice! I don’t know how I got so messed up.

          Liked by 1 person

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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