Woods Mobilette - June 3, 2014

Yesterday, we talked a little bit about the cycle car phenomenon of the early-19th century.  They swept the industrialized world as a practical alternative to the larger and more expensive automobiles, and the smaller, two-wheeled motorcycle, and remained popular in the States until the 1920's, when Ford and Chevrolet began a pricing war that ultimately undercut the fuel-efficient two seaters.  The first American producer of the cycle car was a man named Francis Woods.  

Woods produced his cycle car in the town of Harvey, Illinois.  Regarded as the first American cycle car, the Mobilette was manufactured between 1913 and 1917.  Over 230 different cycle car companies existed in the United States during the peak of the craze, with Woods' being one of the best-known.  The Mobilette on display at the Treasure Tour is most likely a Model 4 - powered by a twelve horsepower water-cooled engine, with staggered seating for its two passengers.  These were practical cars.  Maybe it's time for Mobilettes to come back into fashion.

QUESTION:  The American Treasure Tour is located in a former B.F. Goodrich Tire Factory in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  What is the size, by square foot, of the building?

a)  100,000

b)  600,000

c)  1,200,000

d)  1,800,000

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Time can pass quickly!  It has been thirty-eight years since "Bohemian Rhapsody" went gold. The British rock band Queen included the highly unusual song that incorporated elements of the ballad, guitar solo, opera and hard rock for their 1975 album A Night at the Opera.  It received very mixed reviews upon its release, but there can be no doubt it has become a favorite since then.

Today marks another very important anniversary in entertainment history, as the 1988 Penny Marshall film Big was released to great critical praise.  The experts loved it, the fans loved it, and the already popular Tom Hanks saw his star rise after playing Josh Banks, a 12-year old boy transformed into a 30-year old adult.  Hanks was still five years from his first Oscar (for the film Philadelphia), but it was clear he was doing good.

BIRTHDAYS:

The town of Geneva, Ohio saw the birth of Ransom Eli Olds today in 1864.  Olds would grow up to become one of the most powerful men in automobiles.  At thirty, he claims to have made his first car powered by steam, followed two years later by one using gasoline.  He is accredited with developing the modern assembly line later streamlined by Henry Ford, and is the namesake for the Oldsmobile and the REO Speed Wagon.

Another June 3rd birthday boy is one of the most well-known of the Vanderbilts active today:  the CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.  He has won many prestigious awards for his interpretations of contemporary news, and has been known to go near the front lines to get his story.

QUOTE: If you feel like an outsider, you tend to observe things a lot more. - Anderson Cooper

Answer:  c)  1,200,000.  The space within the building for the tour itself is 100,000 square feet.