First off, I cannot take any credit here other than passing this on. My good friend Count Lee Bower (no lie) sent this to me as ‘relevant to my interests’ basically. So here we go...
“In 1902 bicycle store owner Lewis Birdsong acquired San Antonio’s second gasoline powered horseless carriage. The first was a Haynes-Apperson delivered in person by a factory representative. Birdsong’s “Curved Dash” Oldsmobile was delivered by a mule drawn wagon from a train in a crate. Birdsong and his business partner, Frank Crothers, neither of whom had ever seen an “automobile” had to assemble the vehicle and then teach themselves how to drive it. The daring young men they were, they promptly took it from the house over unpaved city streets to a local horse racing track see what it would do. The attached 1904 image shows Birdsong on an Oldsmobile sponsored tour of South Texas. This vehicle was one of the first to be seen in many Texas towns and cities.”
(Originally posted on the Texas Transportation Museum Facebook page.)
I can barely imagine what it was like to travel by this means in that day and age. I’m sure the track width for the vehicle was probably the same as used in buggy construction, but I can also imagine there being no tracks for a lot of places you wanted to go.