Red Cross Motor Corps, Washington D.C., 1917

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

A woman from West Virginia who worked for the Red Cross Motor Corps is photographed in Washington, D.C., 1917 (Harris & Ewing / Library of Congress)

A woman from West Virginia who worked for the Red Cross Motor Corps is photographed in Washington, D.C., 1917 (Harris & Ewing / Library of Congress)

The American Red Cross (ARC) is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. It was established in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881, by Clara Barton, who became the first president of the organization. Clara Barton (1821–1912) founded the American chapter after learning of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1869, she went to Europe and became involved in the work of the International Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War, and determined to bring the organization home with her to America.
At the beginning of the WWI, the American Red Cross was a small organization still in the process of developing its identity and programs. When the United States declared war against Germany on April 6, 1917, the organization began a period of extraordinary growth. By the time the war ended in November 1918, the Red Cross had become a major national humanitarian organization with strong leadership, a huge membership base, universal recognition, and a broad and distinguished record of service.
American Red Cross Motor Corps was founded in 1917 by the American Red Cross (ARC). It was organized during World War I primarily to render supplementary aid to the Army and Navy, particularly in removing sick and wounded men from ships and trains to hospitals and homes. The service consisted almost entirely of women volunteers, most of whom used their own cars. Many enrolled in auto mechanics classes in order to be able to make repairs on their cars whenever needed.
The Service cooperate with other Red Cross Departments and Bureaus in calling for and delivering supplies; to carry canteen workers, with their supplies and equipment to points where troops in transit were to be provided with meals; to take Red Cross nurses, and Civilian Relief and Home Service workers on official errands; and to furnish transportation, without cost, for Red Cross activities generally, for local charities and hospitals and dispensaries, and for Liberty Loan Drives, Public Health work, and other government activities.
There was little glamour to attract worker’s to this service, for it was frequently very arduous, carried out under all kinds of conditions, in all weather, and at any time when there was need. In spite of this, the response to the first call for volunteers was generous. By war’s end, there were over 12,000 Motor Corps workers who had clocked a total of more than 3.5 million miles of service on America’s roads.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: American Red Cross
Wikipedia: American Red Cross Motor Corps
American Red Cross: World War I and the American Red Cross
Wikipedia: Clara Barton
witness2fashion: American Red Cross Service Uniforms, 1917
Library of Congress
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Red Cross Motor Corps, 1917, detail

Red Cross Motor Corps, 1917, detail

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The Hotel Clarendon & aviator Glenn Curtiss, Daytona Beach, Florida, 1911

Colorization & Restoration by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization & Restoration by Manos Athanasiadis

Cars on beach with airplane overhead and Clarendon Hotel in background, Seabreeze, Daytona Beach, Florida, 1911 (William H. Gardiner / Library of Congress)

Cars on beach with airplane overhead and Clarendon Hotel in background, Seabreeze, Daytona Beach, Florida, 1911 (William H. Gardiner / Library of Congress)

Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States.
In 1871, Mathias Day Jr., purchased a 2,144.5 acre tract on the west bank of Halifax River. He built a hotel around which the initial section of town arose. In 1872, due to financial troubles, Day lost title to his land; nonetheless, residents decide to name the city Daytona in his honor, and incorporated the town in 1876.
In 1886, the St. Johns & Halifax River Railway arrived in Daytona. The line would be purchased in 1889 by Henry M. Flagler, who made it part of his Florida East Coast Railway. The separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach, Kingston, and Seabreeze merged as “Daytona Beach” in 1926. By the 1920s, it was dubbed “The World’s Most Famous Beach”.
Daytona’s wide beach of smooth, compacted sand attracted automobile and motorcycle races beginning in 1902, as pioneers in the industry tested their inventions. It hosted land speed record attempts, beginning in 1904, until 1935. On March 8, 1936, the first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course. In 1958, William France Sr. and NASCAR created the Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course. Automobiles are still permitted on most areas of the beach, at a maximum speed of 10 mph (16 km/h).
The Hotel Clarendon was built in 1895, when Charles Ballough combined his Seabreeze, Daytona Beach cottage property with a local businessman to turn the properties into a hotel. The hotel was complete with a casino, porches overlooking the ocean and a stable for horses and carriages.
In February of 1909, a fire broke out and the entire hotel was destroyed. A new Clarendon, designed and built to be fireproof, was opened on New Year’s Day in 1911. The seven-story hotel featured a Turkish bath, barbershop, manicure parlor, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, and horseback riding facilities. In February of that same year, hotel management and local leaders hired well-known airplane mogul and pilot Glenn Curtiss to perform flying exhibitions on the beach as a tourist attraction. The resort’s reputation as a chic winter playground for American and International travellers spread rapidly. In 1925 it became the first resort hotel on the east coast of Florida to remain open throughout the year.
In 1942, The Clarendon Hotel closed down for the war effort. For two years, the hotel served as a barracks for the Woman’s Army Corps (WACs). The hotel reopened in June of 1944 with a new owner, and a new name, the Sheraton Plaza.
The hotel was later sold and renamed again as the Craig Hotel. In 1974, many of the furnishings of the hotel were sold, and the top floors of the hotel were removed. The hotel was reopened in 2000. Today is known as The Plaza Resort & Spa.
Glenn Hammond Curtiss (1878–1930) was an American aviation pioneer and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry. He began his career as a bicycle racer and builder before moving on to motorcycles. As early as 1904, he began to manufacture engines for airships. Curtiss made the first officially witnessed flight in North America, won a race at the world’s first international air meet in France, and made the first long-distance flight in the United States. His contributions in designing and building aircraft led to the formation of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, now part of Curtiss-Wright Corporation.
The 1911 Curtiss Model D (or frequently, “Curtiss Pusher”) was an early United States pusher aircraft with the engine and propeller behind the pilot’s seat. The Model D was a biplane fitted with a wheeled tricycle undercarriage. It was among the very first aircraft in the world to be built in any quantity — all of which were produced during an era of trial-and-error development and equally important parallel technical development in internal combustion engine technologies. It was also the aircraft type which made the first takeoff from the deck of a ship and made the first landing aboard a ship in 1911.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach’s Grand Resort: Plaza Resort and Spa
Wikipedia: Glenn Curtiss
Wikipedia: Curtiss Model D
Wikipedia: William H. Gardiner
Buy Print:
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Daytona Beach 1911, detail

John Surtees, Isle of Man 1958 & Monaco 1963

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

John Surtees riding a 500cc M.V. Agusta - Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, 1958 (mbike.com photo album by Maanala)

John Surtees riding a 500cc M.V. Agusta – Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, 1958 (mbike.com photo album by Maanala)

John Surtees driving a Ferrari T56 - Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco, 1963 (p: Yves Debraine)

John Surtees driving a Ferrari T56 – Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco, 1963 (p: Yves Debraine)

John Surtees, CBE (1934- ) is a British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He is truly unique in motorsport, remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels. Riding for the celebrated MV Agusta team, he won seven World Championships between 1956 and 1960. Then – with nothing left to prove – he made the transition from two wheels to four, winning the Formula One World Championship with Ferrari in 1964. The versatile racer – who also drove for the Lotus, Cooper, Honda and BRMworks teams – was equally at home in sports cars, winning the 1000km races at Nürburgring and Monza for Ferrari as well as the 1966 CanAm Championship in the Lola T70 he helped develop.
Surtees is the son of a south London motorcycle dealer. He had his first professional outing, when he was 15, in the sidecar of his father’s Vincent, which they won. However, when race officials discovered Surtees’s age, they were disqualified.
In 1955, Norton race chief Joe Craig gave Surtees his first factory sponsored ride aboard the Nortons. He finished the year by beating reigning world champion Duke at Silverstone and then at Brands Hatch. However, with Norton in financial trouble and uncertain about their racing plans, Surtees accepted an offer to race for the MV Agusta factory racing team. In 1956 Surtees won the 500cc world championship, MV Agusta’s first in the senior class. In the 1957 season, the MV Agustas were no match for the Gileras and Surtees battled to a third-place finish aboard a 1957 MV Agusta 500 Quattro. When Gilera and Moto Guzzi pulled out of Grand Prix racing at the end of 1957, Surtees and MV Agusta went on to dominate the competition. In 1958, 1959 and 1960, he won 32 out of 39 races and became the first man to win the Senior TT at the Isle of Man TT three years in succession. In 1960, at the age of 26, Surtees switched from motorcycles to cars full-time, making his Formula 1 debut racing for Lotus in the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. He made an immediate impact with a second-place finish in only his second Formula One World Championship race, at the 1960 British Grand Prix, and a pole position at his third, the 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix. He moved to Scuderia Ferrari in 1963 and won the World Championship for the Italian team in 1964. In December 1966, Surtees signed for Honda. He finished fourth in the 1967 drivers’ championship. In 1970, Surtees formed his own race team, the Surtees Racing Organisation, and spent nine seasons competing in Formula 5000, Formula 2 and Formula 1 as a constructor. He retired from competitive driving in 1972, the same year the team had their greatest success when Mike Hailwood won the European Formula 2 Championship. The team was finally disbanded at the end of 1978.
During his remarkable racing career Surtees won 290 of the 621 races he entered and claimed a further 103 podium finishes, recording 48 fastest laps and 100 record laps along the way.
In 1996, Surtees was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. In the 2016 New Year Honours, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to motorsport.
Sources / More to Read:
John Surtees Official site
Wikipedia: John Surtees
MBike: Photo Album
Primotipo: Lotus 25 – Jim Clark – Monaco 1963…
Στα Ελληνικά:
ΜotoGP Legends: John Surtees

Tourist Trophy Races, Isle of Man, 1958 (National Motor Museum, UK)

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, 1965

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Tura Satana & Porsche 356 in Russ Meyer's movie: "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!", 1965

Tura Satana & Porsche 356 in Russ Meyer’s movie: “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”, 1965

Russell Albion “Russ” Meyer (1922 – 2004) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, film editor, actor and photographer. Meyer is known primarily for writing and directing a series of successful low-budget sexploitation films that featured campy humor, sly satire and large-breasted women, such as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. Russ Meyer’s lifelong unabashed fixation on large breasts featured prominently in all his films and is his best-known character trait both as an artist and as a person. His discoveries include Kitten Natividad, Erica Gavin, Lorna Maitland, Tura Satana, and Uschi Digard among many others. The majority of them were naturally large breasted and he occasionally cast women in their first trimesters of pregnancy as it enhanced their breast size even further.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is a 1965 American exploitation film directed by Russ Meyer. It follows three go-go dancers who embark on a spree of kidnapping and murder in the California desert.
The movie is known for its violence, provocative gender roles, and its eminently quotable “dialogue to shame Raymond Chandler.” Faster, Pussycat! was a commercial and critical failure upon its initial release, but it has since become widely regarded as an important and influential film.
Tura Satana (1938 – 2011) was an American actress and former exotic dancer. From 13 film and television credits, some of her work includes the exploitation film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, and the science fiction horror film The Astro-Zombies (1968).
Satana’s starred as “Varla” in the 1965 film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!—a very aggressive and sexual female character for which she did all of her own stunts and fight scenes. Renowned film critic Richard Corliss called her performance “…the most honest, maybe the one honest portrayal in the Meyer canon and certainly the scariest”. Originally titled The Leather Girls, the film is an ode to female violence, based on a concept created by Russ Meyer and screenwriter Jack Moran. Both felt at her first audition that Satana was “definitely Varla.” The film was shot on location in the desert outside Los Angeles during days when the weather was more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and freezing nights, with Satana clashing regularly with teenage co-star Susan Bernard due to Bernard’s mother’s reportedly disruptive behavior on the set. Meyer said Satana was “extremely capable. She knew how to handle herself. Don’t fuck with her! And if you have to fuck her, do it well! She might turn on you!” Satana was responsible for adding key elements to the visual style and energy of the production, including her costume, makeup, usage of martial arts, dialogue and the use of spinning tires in the death scene of the main male character. She came up with many of the film’s best lines. At one point the gas station attendant was ogling her extraordinary cleavage while confessing to a desire to see America. Varla replied “You won’t find it down there, Columbus!” Meyer cited Satana as the primary reason for the film’s lasting fame. “She and I made the movie”, said Meyer. Tura Satana’s performance as Varla in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! was Meyer’s only true portrayal of the large, strong and aggressive Amazonian archetype in the classic visual sense.
The Porsche 356 is a luxury sports car which was first produced in 1948 and continued until April 1965. It was Porsche’s first production automobile. Like its cousin, the Volkswagen Beetle, the 356 was a four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car utilizing unitized pan and body construction. The chassis was a completely new design as was the 356’s body which was designed by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda, while certain mechanical components including the engine case and some suspension components were based on and initially sourced from Volkswagen.
The last revision of the 356 was the 356C introduced for the 1964 model year. It featured disc brakes all round, as well as an option for the most powerful pushrod engine Porsche had ever produced, the 95 hp (71 kW) “SC”. 356 production peaked at 14,151 cars in 1964, the year that its successor, the new 911, was introduced to the US market.
In 2004, Sports Car International ranked the 356C tenth on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. Today, the Porsche 356 is a highly regarded collector car.

Sources:
Wikipedia: Russ Meyer
Wikipedia: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
IMDb: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Wikipedia: Tura Satana
Wikipedia: Porsche 356
Στα ελληνικά:
Reel.gr: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Gocar.gr: Porsche 356, Από δω άρχισαν όλα

André Grapperon, 1913

Color by Manos Athanasiadis

André Grapperon, a French champion motorcyclist at a board track somewhere in the U.S., 1913

André Grapperon, a French champion motorcyclist at a board track somewhere in the U.S., 1913

Board track racing was a type of motorsport popular in the United States during the 1910s and 1920s. Competition was conducted on circular or oval race courses with surfaces composed of wooden planks. These large tracks, with steeply banked turns as high as 60 degrees, were raced on with motorcycles that had evolved only slightly from their bicycle origins, yet were capable of speeds approaching 100 mph.
The races were hugely popular with spectators, and the board tracks popped up across the country during the ‘teens and ‘twenties. The first board track for motor racing was the circular Los Angeles Motordrome, built in 1910 based on the same technology as European velodromes used for bicycle racing. Board tracks proliferated in part because they were inexpensive to construct, but they lacked durability and required a great deal of maintenance to remain usable.

Springfield board track

Springfield board track

Racing on a board track was exceedingly dangerous due to flying wood splinters and debris, and due to the primitive tire technology of the era. The danger on the motorcycling motordromes was aggravated by the riders’ lack of proper safety equipment. Fans sat above the top of the track, looking down at the racers. When a rider lost control, he could slip up off the track and into the crowd. Many fatalities occurred, often involving spectators.
With the onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, board track racing disappeared rapidly. By 1929, at least 24 board tracks had been built around the country, although by 1931, 20 of the 24 had been shut-down or abandoned, and from 1932 on there were no more championship-level races run on boards.

Indian is an American brand of motorcycles originally produced from 1901 to 1953 in Springfield, Massachusetts, US. During the 1910s Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Indian’s co-founders George M Hendee and Carl Oscar Hedstrom had both been successful racing cyclists in their day and so were well aware of the valuable publicity to be gained from racetrack successes.
At first, Indian motorcycles used in competition were modified road models, and not until 1908 did the Springfield company offer a purpose-built racing motorcycle for sale. The following year Messrs Hedstrom and Hendee opened their own home-town, pine-board motordrome in Springfield, thus providing Indian with its own test track and works rider ‘Jake’ DeRosier – one of motorcycle sport’s first superstars – with a stage to showcase his immense talent. Indian was soon profiting from its products’ competition successes, to such an extent that the firm was overwhelmed with orders.

The New York Times, 13/08/1913

The New York Times, 13/08/1913

The 1912 Indian 61ci Board-Track Racing motorcycle is one of the earliest models built by the company. It’s fitted with an overhead 8-valve 61 cubic inch V-twin with a Bosch magneto, a Hendee carburettor, 28 inch wheels, no brakes and no throttle. Speed was controlled by turning the magneto on or off with a button on the handlebars. The suspension is provided by the tire sidewalls and if you wanted to stop, you put your feet.
André Grapperon, was a French champion motorcyclist. As was common when the riders posed, Grapperon is shown on his Indian with the steeply banked track visible behind him.

Οι αγώνες μοτοσικλετών σε ξύλινες κυκλικές πίστες ήταν ιδιαίτερα δημοφιλείς στις ΗΠΑ τις δεκαετίες 1910 και 1920.
Οι πίστες έμοιαζαν με τα βέλοντρομς στην Ευρώπη, που όμως ήταν φτιαγμένα για ποδήλατα.
Οι αγώνες ήταν ιδιαίτερα επικίνδυνοι τόσο για τους αναβάτες όσο και για τους θεατές. Οι μοτοσικλέτες ήταν ακόμα αρκετά πρωτόγονες. Έμοιαζαν περισσότερο ποδήλατα με πανίσχυρες μηχανές. Δεν είχαν φρένα ούτε αναρτήσεις και τα λάστιχα ήταν υποτυπώδη. Οι οδηγοί έκαναν γύρους με ταχύτητα 160 χιλιομέτρων την ώρα, πάνω σε επιφάνειες με κλίση ως και 60 μοίρες, ενώ σκλήθρες και πριονίδια από την πίστα τους χτυπούσαν στο πρόσωπο. Όταν έχαναν τον έλεγχο ήταν εύκολο να καταλήξουν πάνω στο πλήθος που τους παρακολουθούσε από την κορυφή της πίστας. Τα πολύνεκρα ατυχήματα που συνέβησαν, έθεσαν αρκετές φορές σε αμφισβήτηση την διοργάνωση τέτοιων αγώνων. Η Μεγάλη Ύφεση του 1929 έφερε το οριστικό τέλος τους.
Η εταιρία “Ίνδιαν” έφτιαχνε μοτοσικλέτες στο Σπρινφιλντ της Μασσαχουσέτης από το 1901 ως το 1953. Τη δεκαετία του 1910 ήταν η μεγαλύτερη κατασκευάστρια στον κόσμο. Η μοτοσικλέτα που εικονίζεται στη φωτογραφία, είναι το αγωνιστικό της μοντέλο του 1912, με 8βάλβιδο κινητήρα 1000 κυβικών σε διάταξη “V” και 28αρες ζάντες. Δεν είχε φρένα, ούτε ανάρτηση.
Ο Αντρέ Γκραππερόν, ήταν ήδη πρωταθλητής στη Γαλλία, όταν το 1913 πήρε μέρος σε board track αγώνες μοτοσυκλέτας στις ΗΠΑ.