Hello readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
This morning I was watching the television while eating my breakfast, as I always do, and a segment came on about a new prototype car that was recently finished. This car, called the Hum-X for those interested, was special in that it could employ hydraulics to raise itself into the air and pass over other cars in traffic. This got me thinking about that today cars are everywhere and, aside from new ones like this, are no longer that amazing to us. However, this was not always the case.
Look at the slide show below. As you can see, they are all pictures of people standing next to various cars. “What is so special about that” you might ask. That, my dear readers, is exactly my point. Today, we all take cars for granted and understand (generally) how they work. However, imagine just for a moment that you were living back in the late 1800s and early 1900s with these people. You are used to getting around via horseback or walking, and suddenly this metal mechanical marvel (or devil, depending on whom you ask) appears. It goes just as fast as any horse you have ever known and it never gets tired! Also buying one costs probably the same amount as a small house, yet somehow your father managed to bring one home. What else would you do but take a picture to mark this momentous occasion! Everyone will want to be able to remember the day your family first got its very own Model T. Yet, compared to today, no one seems to be as excited about his or her first car. Sure, teenagers get excited when their parents present them with the keys, but it is not the same kind of excitement as it was in the 1900s. Back then, it was something to parade about the whole town, showing all your friends and neighbors how lucky and wealthy your family is. Today it is something everyone simply expects to happen. Who knows, maybe in the future we will react to new invention as people in the 1900s did (fingers crossed for flying cars!).
Do you remember your first car? Did you and your family all take pictures around it to mark the occasion? Let us know in the comments, and come back next week for another Hometown Heritage blog!
Hello readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
Today I have another interesting photo from our collection for you all! Look at the picture that accompanies this post. What do you think it is? The picture itself is from 1885, and as you can see, it depicts a man on a cart drawn by a horse. The cart itself is rather fancy; it has what looks like curtains on the inside. Why does a cart need curtains? This, readers, is part of the answer! Curtains are usually meant to keep people on the outside from seeing the inside of a building or in this case, cart. Perhaps you are thinking that his wagon was used to transport money to and from banks? Unfortunately, if you are you will have to guess again! I imagine that someone transferring money would have a guard or two with him, and this man is clearly alone, so I doubt that he would be moving money. If you need another hint, I can tell you that the purpose of this cart was rather morbid. Let us put these two clues together: the cart wants to stop people from seeing inside it, and its purpose is rather morbid. Do you have another guess?
If you guessed that this cart was a hearse, then you would be correct! This picture is of the first hearse in Perry in 1885, driven by Dave Willis. The hearse itself was by Carpenter and Son. The curtains on the inside are clearly used to hide the coffin from citizens the hearse might pass on the way to the cemetery. It makes me wonder if Dave Willis was also the undertaker or if he was simply the driver of the hearse. Unfortunately, our collection does not have any more information about this hearse or about how long it was in use. It is interesting, however, to see one of Perry’s firsts! Are you interested in seeing more of Perry’s firsts? Then swing by the Carnegie Library, the first library in Perry, and come back next week for another blog post!