Elmore C. Patterson (left), a long-time Western Springs resident, made automotive history on July 13, 1915 when he and a relief driver, second from right, drove his Packard Six from Chicago to New York, a distance of 1,018 miles, in just 35 hours and 43 minutes … that’s a dizzying 28 miles per hour.
to records in the archives of the Western Springs Historical Society, speeds “reached
as high as 50 miles per hour in some cases.” The car stopped a total of 50
minutes along the way in order to change tires and purchase gasoline. However,
this time was included in the total elapsed time.
addition to his relief driver, Patterson was accompanied by two observers from
the fledgling Chicago Automobile Club. Records also indicate that Patterson
carried letters addressed to “police officials and governors of states he
passed through to allow him to run in excess of speed laws.”
the second time in two years that Patterson had driven the route, the previous
trip having taken 41 hours and 17 minutes.
view of the automobile, with its occupants, is in the second photo.
there is no record of Patterson having received a monetary prize for his
accomplishment, he was presented with a bronze trophy commemorating the event (see third photo).
week, the Western
Springs Historical Society presents a “Blast from the Past”. To view prior
stories, visit us at www.westernspringshistory.org.