Saturday, June 5, 2010

Powel Crosley, Jr. in the New York Times,

When Powel Crosley, Jr. was working in Indianapolis in 1910, he hung out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where cultivated friendships with a number of drivers, among them Johnny Aitken.

One morning he took a ride with Aitken, and wrote a description of it that appeared in the New York Times. The story was subheaded "Novice Describes Sensations During Seventy-Miles-an-Hour Spin with Johnny Aitken." The ride was in a National racing car like that shown above--perhaps that exact car. (That's Aikten at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.)

I glanced at the speedometer with a look rapidly changing to terror. She hit forty-five swinging into a turn. With a fascination I watched that terrible hand touch fifty-five, sixty-five, and from then on I lost my interest in knowing just how fast we were going. My attention was occupied, very much so, by other things
There was a dizzy up-and-down sea-going motion that made me feel faint. The handles I was clutching seemed to be slipping from my grip. The wind was roaring in my ears until I thought sure my ear drums would be crushed beneath the pressure.

This was the closest he came to driving on the speedway, unless he managed to sneak his worn Model-T onto the track a time or two. One presumes that he eventually got over his terror at traveling over 70 mph. (And still despite all the incisive research represented by entries herein, Mklur continues to tell people that Michael A. Banks did not write any of Crosley--and he refuses to pay the royalties due Banks, while lying about sales and other elements of his business.)

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