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Are Tesla Owners the New Pioneers?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ElectricFarmBoy, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. ElectricFarmBoy

    Jun 18, 2012
    Langley, BC
    My uncle is the family historian and passed this text along to me from his family history book, which he is reformatting for ePub.

    It is interesting to read about the rollout of the Gas Automobile in Alberta in the early 1900s. Perhaps 100 years from now a similar article will be written by our great grandchildren with just a few words changed... For example, the 1906 story of a father and son making the big journey Edmonton to Calgary (done in about 90 minutes today by an aggressive Model S driver I'm sure) seems eerily reminiscent of the 400 mile Model S drive recently...

    Backgrounder # 14 - The Automobile

    Grandpa Simon, and most of the other Mennonite settlers to the Tofield, Alberta area, were quick to accept the new technology which changed transportation so significantly. Grandpa Simon bought his first Model-T Ford in 1917, five years before he bought his first tractor. The following two articles are included to give an idea of the hurdles people faced as they made the decision to buy an automobile. They also show a bit of the progress that was made in the first years of the automobile. What courage it must have taken to start out on a long journey by car in those days!

    The Auto
    • In 1906, Mr. G. Corriveau and his son drove an automobile from Edmonton to Calgary in 11 1/2 hours. They managed to get their machine up to 40 miles an hour at one point and travelled the 20 miles between Lacombe and Red Deer in 34 minutes. That 20 miles was rather expensive, with the car using a gallon of gas per mile and one full gallon of oil over the 20 mile stretch.
    • In 1911 the government of Alberta spent $250,000 on roads and another
    • $350,000 on bridges. This was hardly more than what was needed to maintain the wagon trails.
    • The auto clubs were mapping routes throughout the west for their new prince of outdoor sports. The automobile road guide of 1917-18 published by one such club, gave a vivid description of traveling the Old Trail from Calgary to Edmonton. It indicated where one must turn; told exactly how many miles one must go before a certain landmark loomed up; and gave particulars as to car care.
    • They gave instructions on where one could get gas and service - such as MacQuarries Store and Garage in Crossfield, or Fishers Garage in Olds. The houses along the Trail that had telephones were noted. A motorist following the Trail stayed pretty well to the old Wagon route, with the exception of zig-zagging in and around farms and back and forth across railroad tracks, through gates and across pastures. It even described what the road was like under certain conditions.
    • The guide gave an outline of the government regulations, such as registering the car at the cost of 50 cents per horsepower. A motorcycle would be registered for $5.00. The regulations indicated that “reasonable” speed limits must be maintained on roads. They became specific in towns with a limit of 20 miles an hour, slowing to 10 miles an hour while turning a corner. The rules called for cars to give the right-of-way to horse-drawn vehicles and pedestrians at all times. When signaled by a horseman, the auto had to be pulled off on the left and the engine turned off. The provincial government’s definition of a motor vehicle was “any vehicle propelled by other than muscular power.”
    Source: Belanger, Art J., “The Calgary-Edmonton, Edmonton-Calgary Trail”, Frontier Book No. 29, 1973

    Number of Registered Car Owners in Alberta"

    • 1901 - 1
    • 1906 - 41
    • 1907 - 96
    • 1908 - 182
    • 1909 - 275
    • 1910 - 699
    • 1911 - 1699
    • 1912 - 2500
    • 1913 - 3733
    • 1914 - 4900
    • 1915 - 6000 " - John L Stauffer buys a car, Ford Model-T
    • 1916 - 10000" - Joseph E Kauffman buys a used 1914 Model-T
    • 1917 - 20000 " - Simon Stalter buys a car (used), Ford Model-T
    • 1918 - 29000
    • 1919 - 34000
    Cashman, Tony, “A History of Motoring in Alberta, Third Edition”, © The Alberta Motor Association

    Thanks @Grandpad in Edmonton for this...
  2. Alfafoxtrot1

    Alfafoxtrot1 Member

    Sep 29, 2012
    Fantastic Post! The anology is quite solid. All that's missing is range anxiety, but I have no doubt that the lack of available fuel along the trail was indeed discussed often. Of course, fuel was much more difficult to find than an outlet is today.
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    #3 vfx, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    I'd say Tesla comes in at about 1910 in your analogy. The EV1, Rav4 Ev owners were the first wave. Hundreds of those Ravs are still on the road today. The Movie "Who Killed the Electric Car" documents this quite well and Elon talks about how it moved him seeing people fighting to keep their cars.
  4. Grassy Knoel

    Grassy Knoel Member

    Feb 11, 2013
    Calgary, Albertastan
    Fantastically relevant to the efforts of The EV revolution. Hard to imagine anything other than a thoroughfare between the two cities but alas history beautifully reminds us that getting from a to b took a lot of planning and effort. I for one plan on doing that route many times and look forward to the new "challenges" that an electric car will present. Thanks for the post and the reminder that EVs are not the destination, rather a wonderful part of the journey.

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