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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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In the Driver's Seat: 1915

In the Driver's Seat: 1915

At the wheel circa 1915. "NO CAPTION" is the caption here. Perhaps someone will recognize the insignia on the lady's uniform. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Tanks a Lot

How big were the gas tanks on those cars, anyway? They look to be about the size of a 55 gallon oil drum.

Two Knox, no Pope

Both pictures below are of the Knox Giant—you can spot the Knox emblem on the radiator in the top picture.


Here's a photo of the Pope-Hartford, nicknamed the Hummer (no chain drive):

Fast Woman

She also became the fastest woman with a speed of 111.5 mph on the Long Island Motor Parkway while driving a Pope Hummer on April 17, 1911. This was over 1/2 a mile.

She had her own song.

O Mrs. Cuneo, O Mrs. Cuneo,
The greatest woman driver that we know,
She keeps a-going, she makes a showing,
Does Mrs. Cuney-uney-uney-O

There is a article about her here with additional details of her career and three more pictures in addition to the one below.

Her Knox and a Pope Hummer are pictured below. Note: Comment corrected for photo that did not attach.

Joan Newton Cuneo

The picture is of Mrs. Joan Newton Cuneo, sitting behind the wheel of her race car, a 1908 Knox Giant and dressed in a smartly styled driving suit. It appeared in the April 1910 issue of The Outing Magazine.

Mrs. Cuneo was a socialite who purchased her first car - a steamer - and spent the next year mastering the art of driving, whereupon she bought a new White steamer. In 1905 she bought yet another new White and entered the Glidden Tour. By fall she was performing fast exhibition driving at Atlantic City and at the Fair in Poughkeepsie, where she ran against Barney Oldfield and set the women's record for the flying mile at 1 minute and 24 seconds.

She bought her first gasoline-powered car in 1907 and continued participating in tour contests; by 1908 she was completing tours with perfect scores and for the Women's Motoring Club run to Philadelphia and back, the Lancia factory asked her to drive their famous Lancia Lampo. Other manufacturers began asking that she race in their vehicles, and she eventually settled on the big Knox Giant racer. In early 1909 she ran this car to numerous victories at the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, at one point even beating the famous Ralph De Palma. She was named the National Amateur Champion and claimed five trophys.

Not long after her stunning victories in New Orleans, and despite the fact that Mrs. Cuneo had been a member of theirs since 1905, the American Automobile Association (the organization that sponsored most of the big events) banned not just women drivers from their events, but women passengers as well. Many writers of the day felt it was because too many men drivers would stay away if they were consistently beaten by a woman. Joan Cuneo did not protest; she just more or less retired from racing. She bought a duplicate of the Knox Giant from the factory and continued to run non-AAA sponsored tours, and setting track records in exhibitions. In the March 1908 issue of Country Life in America she wrote an article titled "Why There Are So Few Women Automobilists" that is still quoted today in histories of early woman drivers.

Signal Corps

As a boy, I polished my father's Signal Corps insignia enough to know them on sight.

Lots of Buttons

but no Bows.

Crossed flags

Signal Corps. Women were used to fill positions, did not serve overseas.

Possibly only one (two) comments here:

Vrooom ! Vrooom !

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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