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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Transcontinental Tour - 1908



Meet the Jacob Murdock family of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Back in 1908 - they were the first family to ever cross the United States in a motorcar. They left from their winter home in Pasadena, California and ended their trip after 32 days, 5 hours and 25 minutes - a whirlwind, record setting pace for the time, They used a total of 524 gallons of gas for the trip of 3,700 miles.
Making the trek: Jacob along with his wife and their three kids - Lillian, Alice and Jacob. A mechanic - Phillip DeMay was hired to give a helping hand.
The 1908 Packard "30" was shipped from Johnstown to California for the trip back east. Their equipment included a small winch, two eight-foot hickory poles used as levers for mud and sand, 300 feet of rope, a sledgehammer, pole ax, air compressor, a Prest-o-lite tank for the headlights, extra tires and inner tubes.
The family had camping supplies along with taking a supply of water and gas in cans. Additional supplies and letters explaining what they were doing were sent ahead to all the towns along the way. More than once the travelers had to be pulled out mud and ruts along the way by horse drawn wagons.
They finally arrived in New York City - 32 days later - proudly driving up Broadway to 61st street where they finished up at the Packard dealership there.

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