By 1900, Europeans had been making cars for 50 years, the Americans began to produce cars in the 1890s. The first automobile cost thousands of dollars, and only the rich could afford it. Was the automobile widely accepted? I came across this hilarious article “To Fight the Automobiles” in the Sidney Herald, April 30, 1909 on the front page. The Anti-Auto Society of the U.S. announced regulations for the season.
The following was the new code agreed upon by the Farmers’ Anti auto Protective Society, which had held its annual convention in the different states in the Union.
1. On discovering an approaching team, the automobilist must stop offside and cover his machine with a tarpaulin painted to correspond with the scenery.
2. The speed limit on county roads this year will be secret, and the penalty for violation will be $10 for every mile an offender is caught going in excess.
3. In case an automobile makes a team run away, the penalty will be $50 for the first mile, $100 for the second mile, $200 for the third mile, etc., that the team runs; in addition to the usual damages.
4. On approaching a corner where he cannot command a view of the road ahead, the automobilist must stop not less than 100 yards from the turn, toot his horn, ring a bell, fire a revolver and send up three bombs at intervals of five minutes.
5. Automobiles must again be reasonably painted–that is, so they will merge with the pastoral ensemble and not be starting. They must be green in spring, golden in summer, red in autumn and white in winter.
6. Automobiles running on the country roads at night must send up a red rocket every mile, and wait 10 minutes for the road to clear. They may then proceed carefully, blowing their horns and shooting Roman candles.
7. All members of the society will give up Sunday to chasing automobiles, shooting and shouting at them, making arrests, and otherwise discouraging country touring on that day.
8. In case a horse will not pass an automobile, notwithstanding the scenic tarpaulin, the automobilist will take the machine apart as rapidly as possible and conceal the parts in the grass.
9. In case an automobile approaches a farmer’s house when the roads are dusty, it will slow down to one mile an hour, and the chauffeur will lay the dust in front of the house with a hand-sprinkler worked over the dashboard
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information compiled from the Sidney Herald.