1900 New York
|Name:||Horseless Carriage Show|
|Dates:||3 – 10 Nov 1900|
|Venue:||Madison Square Garden – with a track to provide test drives|
|Theme:||The Horseless Carriage – steam and gasoline powered vehicles |
– the USA’s first motor show
|Exhibitors:||70 companies featuring broughams, cabriolets, demi-coaches, hansoms, phaetons, runabouts, surreys, theatre buses, touring cars, traps, victorias and wagonettes – plus magazines|
|Visitors:||48,000 – 50 cents admission|
Organiser: Automobile Club of America
NY City was clearing 450,000 tons of manure and 15,000 horse carcases from its streets each year. NY’s last horse-drawn trolley would operate in 1917.
The event’s venue was Madison Square Garden, with a track to provide test drives.
The most popular attractions were models that were powered by electric, then steam and only
finally those using gasoline.
Winton Motor Carriage advertised running costs of half a cent/mile compared with the expense, care and anxiety of keeping a horse. They claimed it could achieve between three and twenty mph.
Ransome E Olds’ revealed his Oldsmobile Model R Curved Dash a new style of vehicle, the “runabout’. This was a horizontal one-cylinder 4.5hp ICE, though a fire at the factory delayed production, These vehicles weighed 650ibs and sold for $650. Selling 19,000 in total it became the first commercially successful automobile in the USA and the best-selling motorcar of 1903.
Manufacturers found that auto shows were the opportunity to pre-sell much of their upcoming year’s production; the average annual wage at this time was $589, the cars on show were priced betwwen $280 and $4,000 – thus six months to seven years average income (source: Greater New York Automobile Dealers).
The makers founded the Association of Automobile Manufacturers at the 1901 event.
Back in 1892 the Duryea brothers, Charles and Frank, had driven the first gasoline automobile selling 13 of them.
Henry Ford’s quadricycle was still a year away, and the Model T was not in production until 1908. The ‘T’ was mass-produced to sell at $825 (c. $18,000 today), by 1927 Ford had sold 16.5 million of them.