First up… The winner of last Monday’s giveaway of THE ONLY ROAD is MS. YINGLING READS. Karen provides wonderful insights into books and she is the most prolific reader I know. Congratulations!
This new title from Sue Macy and National Geographic takes off right away with a forward by race car driver, Danica Patrick. It’s inspirational and I loved her closing line:
I encourage you to embrace being different, and to become the very first you the world has ever seen.
The five quick chapters are filled with stories of the first cars at the turn of the 20th century and how women became a force in the auto industry, both in driving and in production. It takes you through World War I when the auto’s importance dramatically expanded.
Scattered throughout are fun features. Here’s a just a few things I learned…
- In 1901 New York City, those drivers caught speeding were fined along with their passengers.
- There were actual etiquette manuals of how to treat your riding guests like where the unmarried ones should sit (back seat).
- Automobiles were wide open carriages and dressing for a ride was a task: hats, hoods, gloves, and foot protectors to name a few of the inconveniences.
- Many book series about cars were written for kids: THE MOTOR BOYS, THE MOTOR GIRLS, and THE MOTOR MAIDS. The colorful covers depicted the fun and thrill of driving.
- The first motor hotel (Motel) opened in California in 1925.
Here’s the official blurb from National Geographic:
Come along for a joy ride in this enthralling tribute to the daring women—Motor Girls, as they were called at the turn of the century—who got behind the wheel of the first cars and paved the way for change. The automobile has always symbolized freedom, and in this book we meet the first generation of female motorists who drove cars for fun, profit, and to make a statement about the evolving role of women. From the advent of the auto in the 1890s to the 1920s when the breaking down of barriers for women was in full swing, readers will be delighted to see historical photos, art, and artifacts and to discover the many ways these progressive females influenced fashion, the economy, politics, and the world around them.
My Final Word:
This is a rare look at a forgotten time in our history. Today, women race cars and head some of the biggest auto manufacturers in the world. You will appreciate the struggles other women went through to open up the auto industry for the pacesetters of the 21st century. Girl power all the way.