1914 Chalmers “Light Six” Automobile

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

Wednesday, March 5, 1914:  Same as ever.

The master “Light Six” is a car for the whole family. It means clean, healthful recreation that you cannot get in any other way. It means days spent in the crisp, clear air of the country; cool refreshing rides in the evenings, and health-giving outings for the children that are impossible without a car. The “Light Six” will pay for itself in better health and greater happiness.

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

This is the fourth day in a row that Grandma wrote “Same as ever.” What was happening (or not happening) in her life? She sure wasn’t putting much effort into her diary.

Yesterday I shared some pictures of 1914 garage designs. Today I’m sharing some pictures of automobiles that provide a sense of how people thought about cars back then. Amazingly, health and happiness were major selling points back then.

The pictures and captions from  an advertisement for Chalmers “Light Six” automobiles in the June 1, 1914 issue of Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine.

Now is the time you want a car most. All of the outdoors welcomes and offers health and happiness to the man with a motor car. You are planning now for vacation time. Nothing will make your vacation so much worthwhile as the possession of a Chalmers “Light Six”.

1914 Chalmers carChalmers “Light Six” will go through any sand or mud and climb any hill that any car can climb. The six-cylinder motor develops up to 50 horsepower.

DSC08674.crop-aIn addition to the touring car, the Chalmers “Light Six” is built as a two-passenger Coupelet. This is an entirely new body type. The Coupelet gives the luxury and the seclusion of the closed car in bad weather, and it is readily convertible to a handsome roadster for business or for touring during the summer months.

17 Responses

  1. Health and happiness from a car; intriguing. Today, the advertisements seem to indicate that a car will give us happiness and status and freedom….no mention of health.

  2. Did Helena’s family have a car? Do we know when they got one?

    • No they didn’t have a car. I think that she’s mentioned riding in a car two times in the diary.

      I don’t know when they got one.

  3. Those ads are quite comical – when you compare them to what we expect from our vehicles these days!
    Hopefully Grandma is super busy, rather than super bored.

  4. When I saw the name “Chalmers” in your post, the first thing I thought of was the famous female explorer, Harriet Chalmer Adams http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Chalmers_Adams. I know about her because my daughter did a paper on a famous explorer in elementary school and had to choose from a list or find one outside the list but approved. There were no females on the list and she and I found Harriet. I check to see if there was any connection with the automobiles but it is not.

    • Thanks for sharing the link. Harriet Chalmers Adams sounds like an amazing women. And, your comment about the list with no females on it reminds me of the time my daughter was supposed to select an inventor from a list to do a report on. . . and there were no females on the list. . . sigh. . .

  5. Haha! Fun photos! It must’ve been so much fun to ride on one of those!

  6. It’s funny how the car ad links to family health and outings!!
    Diana

    • I agree. . . interesting how advertising points have changed over the years as cars have evolved from a luxury to a near necessity.

  7. Would she fall over if she saw an SUV from today?

  8. That car reminds of the one they drove in the original “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

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