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17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, May 30, 1912:  Memorial Day: Carrie and I went up to McEwensville this morning. This afternoon we went over to Watsontown accompanied by another girl friend. We had the pleasure of getting an automobile ride. It was the first time I was ever in one and consequently never had experienced a ride. We had a good time.

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (February 1, 1912)

Hupmobile

Hupmobile Long-Strike “32” Touring Car, $900

F.O.B. Detroit, including equipment of windshield, gas lamps and generator, oil lamps, tools, and horn. Three speeds forward and reverse; sliding gears. Four cylinder motor, 3 ¼-inch bore and 5 ½ inch stroke. Bosch magnets, 106-inch wheel base, 32 x 3 ½ inch tires. Color, Standard Hupmobile Blue, Roadster, $900.

Two cars whose name is your guarantee

We refer to the two leading Hupmobiles—the Long-Stroke “32” Touring Car, and the Standard 20 H.P. Runabout.

Both the product of the same engineering skill and the same shop organization that originated the Hupmobile.

Both incorporating elements of value not found elsewhere at the price or near it.

Each the sign and symbol of the highest and best construction of its particular type.

The Long-Stroke “32,” with its cylinders cast in one piece, its three bearing crank shaft, its enclosed valves—a motor of extraordinary pulling power and sturdiness and absolute silences, perfectly dust-and oil-tight.

Multiple disc clutch, 13 inches in diameter.

Three-speed transmission, large enough for a 40 H.P. car.

Each a feature for the equal of which you must go beyond Hupmobile price.

And a full floating rear axle of especially strong construction.

Fifteen thousand owners, the world over, testify to the worth and serviceability, the staunchness and durability, of the Runabout.

It, too, has a unit power plant; multiple disc clutch; and sliding gear transmission.

All the power you will ever need or want and to spare.

If you are in the market for a touring car around $900, or a two passenger car, around $750, get in touch with the Hupmobile dealer.

He will show you the actual value of these cars, the value that sets them above other cars of their prices.

Write for a complete catalog.

Standard 20 H.P. Hupmobile, $750

F.O.B. Detroit, with same power plant that took the world touring car around the world—four cylinders, 20 H.P., sliding gears, Bosch magnets, Equipped with top, windshield, gas lights and generator, oil lamps, tools, and horn. Roadster with 110-inch wheel base and highly finished steel box mounted on rear deck, $850.

Hup Motor Car Company, 1201 Jefferson Ave., Detroit Mich.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Wow, it’s awesome that Grandma had her first ride in an automobile. I wonder who gave Grandma and her friend Carrie Stout the ride.

The previous year, on May 8, 1911, Grandma used a telephone for the first time.

Technology was rapidly coming to Central Pennsyvlania!

Memorial Day

A hundred years ago Memorial Day was always on May 30—instead of on the last Monday in May like it is now.

14 Responses

  1. Isn’t that a fantastic diary entry? Helena’s first ride in a car, wow! I’m heading off now to read the dairy entry for the first time she used a telephone. :)

  2. Agree, a fantastic entry and a bit of nostalgic history. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love this entry. Kind of puts all of our experiences with new technology into perspective.

  4. I remember my Dad telling about his automobile ride. Shortly after that, he got his motorcycle, which was also a “big deal” for him.

  5. I am pleased her first ride in an automobile was a pleasure. Grandma was not afraid to have new experiences.

  6. This sounds so much more magical than something like “Today I got my first iPad.” And this might date me, but I think when I was a kid Memorial Day was on May 30th.

  7. How exciting! I’m trying to imagine her reaction was when she first found out she was going to get a ride! Thanks for sharing.

  8. After reading, it’s apparent to me we really do take a lot for granted. I wonder if 100 years from now there will be as much changed?

  9. [...] May, 1912 Grandma rode in an automobile for the first [...]

  10. […] Day sounds like a fun holiday a hundred years ago. For example, on May 30, 1912 Grandma […]

  11. […] cars were always viewed as a novelty. For example, on May 30, 1912 Grandma […]

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