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1909
 
In the Headlines

President: William H. Taft

Vice President: James S. Sherman

Astronomers sight what might be a planet beyond Neptune

The US government leaves the Isle of Cuba as Jose Gomez is sworn in as president of the republic.

Men and women over 70 draw their first old-age pensions.

Commander Robert E Peary of the US Navy is the first person to reach the North Pole.

President Taft announces that a naval base will be built in Pearl Harbor to protect the US from Japanese attack.

Turkish parliament deposes sultan Abd al-Hamid II and replaces him with his brother, Muhammad V. Background: Ottoman Empire

Japan begins 36-year occupation of Korea. Japanese prince Hirobumi Ito assassinated by Korean nationalist.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded by prominent black and white intellectuals and led by W. E. B. Du Bois.

Congress enacts Republican-sponsored Payne-Aldrich Tariff, which is met by the public with disappointment.

1909 Mile Posts

In the United States

  • Production this year-123,990 passenger cars and 3,297 trucks and buses
  • By year's end, more than 290 makes are built in the US, in 24 states, 45 from Michigan, 44 from Indiana, 39 from Ohio
  • The Selden patent was sustained as valid and infringed upon by Ford
  • President William Howard Taft and Mrs. Taft ride in a White Steamer to the inaugural ball.
  • The American death toll in horse-related accidents is 3,850-more than in motor vehicle accidents
  • The 5th Vanderbilt Cup Race, on Long Island, was won by Harry Grant in an Alco, on October 30
  • Fabric or cape tops, called one-man tops, appeared on the market
  • First electric horn
  • Legislators from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut meet to plan a uniform traffic code
  • D W Griffith's movie 'Drive For Life' has a high-speed car chase
  • The first rural section of concrete pavement, a one-mile stretch, opens on Woodward Ave near Detroit on July 4 at a cost of $13,534
  • First event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a hot air balloon race
  • This year's Glidden Tour is the longest ever at 2,636 miles
  • Detroit: 1,000 cars on display in Glidden Auto Parade; said to be biggest in history
  • A Maxwell-Briscoe was driven from New York to Oakland by Alice H. Ramsey, the 1st woman to make the cross-country trip
  • The Ninth National Automobile show focuses on customer satisfaction, not merely taking orders. Some 71% of gaoline-engined cars exhibited are four-cylinder, 27% are six-cylinder
  • Some steering wheels have a corrugated underside to prevent hand slippage
  • This year's manufacturing trends include larger numbers of cellular-type radiators, greater use of magnetos, more chrome-nickel steel and vanadium steel
  • High-tension ignition systems replace make-and-break setups on most cars
  • Louis Chevrolet, auto racer, drove a 40-horsepower Buick to victory in the Cobe Cup race in Crown Point, Indiana on June 19
  • Barney Oldfield drove his German Benz racer to five world records on August 21 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Oldfield drove his 120-horsepower machine to world records at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 miles
  • Joan Newton Cuneo beats the famous driver Ralph DaPalma in a road race in New Orleans. Shortly after that, the American Automobile Association bans women from racing
  • On November 20, federal court rules Standard Oil in violation of Sherman Antitrust Act, orders cessation of trade; case to go to Supreme Court
  • Incandescent lamps are used in automobile headlights. They replace carbide flame jets
  • When women take up automobile driving, a new field open for fashion designers. Special clothes for motoring include a long viel to keep a lady's hat in place. 'Automobile wrinkles' are soothed away by the application of raw, freshly cut cucumbers

US Auto Manufacturers

  • Sears-Roebuck offers cars in its catalog
  • Maxwell begins successful advertising campaign in rural weeklies
  • In 1909, 10,607 Ford Model-T's were sold. By the 1920's 50% of all registered cars were Model-T's
  • The first 800 Model T's produced were brought out with 2 levers and 2 pedals
  • Cadillac, Oakland and other automakers join General Motors Company
  • The Hupmobile featured transmission clutch in unit with the motor, multiple-disc clutch,& fuel reserve in gasoline tank
  • Hudson Motor Car Company is founded, with the first cars produced in July (as 1910 models)
  • Louis Chevrolet, famous racer, began work on a six-cylinder passenger car of his own design, in his Detroit shop
  • Henry B. Joy became president of Packard
  • Gramm trucks featured overdrive transmission
  • The White Company built a gasoline engine driven car to replace the famous White Steamer
  • W. S. Seaman & Company (later Seaman Body Corp.) built their first automobile bodies in Milwaukee.
  • Buick's four cylinder Model 7 is huge, with 5 X 5-inch bore and stroke for 392.6 cid; only 85 are sold for 1909-1910
  • Packard launches a smaller, less expensive Model 18 with a 265.7 cid, four-cylinder engine

And From the World

  • Ford opens a Model-T assembly plant in Britain.
  • Paris adopts one-way streets.
  • Alfa-Romeo, Suzuki Loom Works are founded
  • Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later British Petroleum) formed
  • Payne-Aldrich tariff taxes autos imported into the US at 45%
  • European countries set common noise and smoke regulations
  • August Horch has a falling-out with his co-directors, and leaves the company. He sets up the August Horch Automobilwerk, and his old company, Horch sues. August Horch renames his company Audi
 
New Makes:1909

Abbott-Detroit, Alco, Babcock, Black Crow, Broc Electric,
Coates-Goshen, Cole, Correja,  Croxton-Keeton, Cutting, Detroit-Dearborn,  Emancipator, Empire, Enger, Everitt, F.A.L.,  Firestone-Columbus, G.J.G., Herreshoff, Hudson,  Hupmobile, Illinois, Inter-State, Jonz, Kauffman (Advance), Kearns, Keystone, Lexington, McCue, McIntire, Metz, Ohio, Paige-Detroit, Petrel, Pickard, Pilot, Planche, Pratt-Elkhart, Ricketts, Roebling, Salter, Sellers, Spoerer, Sterling, Toledo, Velie, Washington, and Wescott

1909 Production figures 

1. Ford.........................................................17,771
2. Buick........................................................14,606
3. Maxwell......................................................9,460
4. Studebaker/EMF...........................................7,960
5. Cadillac......................................................7,868
6. Reo...........................................................6,592
7. Oldsmobile..................................................6,575
8. Willys-Overland...........................................4,907

Some figures are estimates or calendar year
 

By the Numbers

US Population........................................90,490,000

 

Federal spending ................................ $0.69 billion
Unemployment ............................................... 5.1%

DOW Avg....................................................99.06

 

Avg. Income (year) ....................................... $944

New Home (Median Price) ............................ $2,650

New Car (Avg. Cost) .................................. $1,280

Gas (gallon) .................................................... 6

Stamp.............................................................2
 

Bacon (pound).................................................23

Bread (Loaf)..................................................... 5

Butter (pound) ............................................... 34

Eggs (dozen) ................................................. 32

Milk (Qt)..........................................................8

Steak (lb).......................................................19

Sugar (pound) ................................................. 6

New in 1909

Lipton's Tea

electric toaster

Lincoln penny

Kewpie dolls

enclosed double-decker bus

16th Amendment to the US constitution, which authorizes a federal income tax.