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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Army Dually: 1918

Army Dually: 1918

Washington, D.C., 1918. "Pershing, John J., General, U.S. Army -- his chauffeur." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

U.S. Army Ordnance Museum

General Pershing's Locomobile is part of the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum collection. The museum is in a state of transition from Aberdeen Prooving Grounds in Maryland to Fort Lee in Virginia.

Overseas Limousine

Pershing's specially built Locomobile is purportedly on display at U.S. Army Ordnance Museum at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, but I can't verify that. Anyone been there lately?

The make

I forgot to say (and nobody else did) the car is a Locomobile Model 48, a very high quality machine from Bridgeport, Conn. They had BRONZE crankcases and transmission cases.

Doughboy Thrill

Many years ago, my maternal grandfather told me that one of his biggest thrills was the time his 36th Infantry Division (WW I) was reviewed by Pershing in France. Grandfather was from a small southwestern Oklahoma town (Doxey) that no longer exists today. Quite an experience for a farm boy!

Same car, France 1919

My wife's grandfather, Bruce M. Strong, was Pershing's driver in France a year later in 1919. I have a photograph of Pershing, The Duke of Windsor, and my wife's grandfather with this same car somewhere in France, and yes, it has the disc wheels another member described on it. They are outside of the car and easy to recognize. Years later, Mr. Strong would visit Pershing at Walter Reed during his long stay there and was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral in 1948 at Washington D.C.

Correction: Please excuse my two mistakes for I was on night shift without the photo in front of me. In the picture I was referring to, the car still has the wire wheels.(I have another taken later with the disc wheels that caused the confusion.) It is the Prince of Wales(later Edward VIII) not the Duke of Windsor, though he had this title after giving up the throne.

Dual Tires?

Hard to tell with the shadows, but that sure looks like dual tires mounted on what is definitely a single, but wide, rim.

[Hence the title. - tterrace]

Pennsylvania Avenue

The car is parked in front of what was then the State, War, and Navy Building (now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building) on Pennsylvania Avenue just off the corner of 17th Street. The Renwick Gallery is the building in the background.


View Larger Map

Blackjack Pershing's car

That car survived, though while it was in service in France the wire wheels were replaced with disc wheels - huge globs of mud would become trapped in the wire spokes of the dual rear wire wheels, throwing them badly out of balance. The car (with its disc wheels) ended up on a farm in the Gilroy, California, area and was later owned for a long time by a musician for the San Francisco Opera; he stored it on the top floor of a bakery building on Van Ness Avenue.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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