Automobile parade /
The first annual automobile parade, held on November 4, 1899 by the Automobile Club of America, in downtown Manhattan. At least ten different makes and models are seen, including electric and steam powered machines. In the background is Madison Square Garden. As the cars pass, turning towards the right side of the screen, cyclists and pedestrians can also be seen, including a man on a motorized tricycle. About one minute into the film, a carriage pulled by a white horse is driven past the camera, and a horse-drawn hansom cab is seen waiting for the parade to pass.
D3293 U.S. Copyright Office
Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 6Feb1900; D3293.
Camera, William Paley.
Duration: 1:52 at 15 fps.
Photographed November 4, 1899. Location: Madison Square, New York, N.Y.
In 1896, Henry Ford, Charles Brady King, Alexander Winton and Ransom Eli Olds had each introduced their gasoline cars. In 1900, the first National Auto Show was held at Madison Square Garden. In 1901, new oil fields in Texas made gasoline affordable and mass production techniques were introduced into car manufacturing.
Paper print shelf number (LC 1470) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
Paper print shelf number, LC 128, originally on this record, was incorrect. It had been assigned to the film, His name was Mud, also in the Paper Print Collection.
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Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
Sources used: Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 18; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures, 1890-1900, p. 563-564; New York times, November 4, 1899, p. 12, viewed online via ProQuest Historical Newspapers, November 2, 2015; Edison films catalog no. 94 (March, 1900), p. 38.
Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.
Electric cars first appeared in the 1850s and held the land speed record until around 1900. The high cost, low top speed, and short range of battery electric vehicles, compared to later internal combustion engine vehicles, led to a worldwide decline in their use; although electric vehicles have continued to be used in the form of electric trains and other niche uses.
Madison Square is formed by the intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street in Manhattan. It was named after James Madison, fourth President of the United States. Two venues called Madison Square Garden were located just northeast of the square, the first from 1879 to 1890, and the second from 1890 to 1925. The first Garden, leased to P. T. Barnum, had no roof and was inconvenient to use during inclement weather, so it was demolished after 11 years. Madison Square Garden II designed by noted architect Stanford White was a Beaux-Arts structure in a Moorish style, including a tower modeled after Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. Madison Square Garden II was unsuccessful like the first Garden, and the New York Life Insurance Company, which held the mortgage on it, decided to tear it down in 1925 to make way for a new headquarters building, which would become the landmark Cass Gilbert-designed New York Life Building. A third Madison Square Garden opened in a new location, on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, from 1925 to 1968. Groundbreaking on the third Madison Square Garden took place on January 9, 1925. The arena was 200 feet (61 m) by 375 feet (114 m), with seating on three levels, and a maximum capacity of 18,496 spectators for boxing. Demolition commenced in 1968 after the opening of the current Garden and was completed in early 1969. The new structure was one of the first of its kind to be built above the platforms of an active railroad station. As of now, Madison Square Garden is seen as an obstacle in the renovation and future expansion of Penn Station.