by Marlys Kruger
While writing up the “Out of the Past” for last week’s Messenger, I came across this attempt at humor by members of a group called the Anti-Automobile Society in the August 22, 1913 addition. Apparently, they were not comfortable with change and they were not very happy or excited about automobiles taking over for horse and buggies so they came up with these nine Rules of the Road for Automobiles.
1. Upon discovering an approaching team, the automobilist must stop offside and cover his machine with a blanket painted to correspond to the scenery.
2. The speed limit on country roads this year will be a secret, and the penalty for violation will be $10 for every mile an offender is caught going in access of it.
3. In case an automobile makes a team run away, the penalty will be $50 for the first mile, $100 for the second, $200 for the third, etc. that the team runs in addition to the usual damages.
4. On approaching a corner where he cannot command a view of the road ahead, the automobilist must stop not less then 100 yards from the turn, toot his horn, ring a bell, fire a revolver, holler, and send up three bombs at intervals of five minutes.
5. Automobiles must again be seasonably painted, that is so they will merge with the pastoral ensemble and not be startling. They must be green in spring, golden in summer, red in autumn and white in winter.
6. Automobiles running on the country roads at night, must send up a red rocket every mile and wait for ten minutes for the road to clear.They may then proceed carefully, blowing their horns and shooting roman candles.
7. All members of the society will give up Sunday to chasing automobiles, shooting or shouting at them, making arrests and otherwise discouraging country touring on that day.
8. In case a horse will not pass an automobile, the automobilist must take the machine apart as rapidly as possible and conceal the parts in the grass.
9. In case an automobile approaches a farmer’s house when the roads are dusty, it must slow down to one mile an hour and the chauffeur must lay the dust in front of the house with a hand sprinkler worked over the dashboard.