My favorite image from my collection. I purchased this online with absolutely no information to go on except for what the image provided. It took almost 2 years of searching to finally come up with the story behind this fantastic photograph.
Taken by the firm of Webster & Stevens in Seattle, Washington on Monday October 7, 1912. Webster and Stevens are well known photographers of historic Seattle images. They were the official photographers for the Seattle Times from 1903 to 1946(?).
The car is a Davis Special. Probably from the Davis Motor Car Co. in Richmond, Indiana.
Original newspaper story can be found here:
The Seattle Sunday Times article from October 13, 1912 reads:
Hoosiers Drive Machine From Chicago to Seattle
With the odometer showing a distance of 2,616.9 miles covered, a Davis
Special automobile driven by E.J. Davis who was accompanied by E.
Edward Reed, both of Indiana, arrived in Seattle last Monday morning
from Chicago. Their car was battered and mud-stained from the battle
with rough roads and the elements, but the Hoosiers' enthusiasm was
not daunted in the least.
They left the Windy City on September 10 and traveled to Seattle by way of Omaha, Cheyenne, Laramie, Granger, Pocatello, Twin Falls, Bliss, Boise, Weiser, Baker City, Walla Walla, North Yakima, Ellensburg and the Snoqualmie Pass, covering the long journey in twenty-seven days. About five days time was lost due to rainstorms in Iowa and washouts in Wyoming.
Although roads of all descriptions were traversed on the cross-country jaunt, no serious difficulty was encountered until the Indiana boys, who have come to Seattle to enter the automobile business, began the trip through Snoqualmie Pass, in the Cascade mountains. the narrow precipitous trail, with its sharp curves, taxed the power of the car's motor and also tested the endurance power of the driver and occupants. In bumping over the corduroyed section of the pass route, one of the front springs snapped, the only accident that marred the run.
The car attracted considerable attention as it was driven up Second Avenue to The Times building, the finishing point of the Chicago to Seattle journey. mud bespattered, the canvas fenders torn to shreds and with a stack of chewed-up tires on the rear, the machine bore every appearance of having encountered rough going. Shovels, boards, ropes and chains also decorated the car, the extra equipment being necessary to extricate the vehicle from mud on several occasions.
The car was designed by young Davis. While it has a Continental motor, which develops thirty-three horsepower, Davis is using a clutch and steering mechanism of his own make. It covered more than 2,000 miles before it was driven to Chicago, from which city the trip to Seattle was begun.
At the wheel of the accompanying picture, is Mr. Davis. At his side is Mr. Reed, while the third occupant is Mr. M. L. Poynter, of Seattle, who joined the tourists at Walla Walla to bring them over the remainder of the distance to Seattle. Mr. Davis is a brother of O. H. and Merl Davis, of this city.
Mr. Davis and Mr. Reed are automobile mechanics and have come here to follow their trade.