“Will Manage the Long Island Parkway, ” The Automobile, 15, no. 21 (Thurs, 22 Nov 1906): 688View 81K image

A. R. Pardington


     At the Monday meeting of the directors of the special automobile road the exact name adopted was the Long Island Motor Parkway, Incorporated, and A. R. Pardington was elected second vice-president and general manager. Offices have been secured in the Night and Day Bank, 527 Fifth avenue, New York City, and the work will be carried on energetically. Mr. Pardington is recognized as a most excellent selection. Thoroughly conscientious in all that he does, experienced in the handling of big things, and of unquestioned integrity, he is favorably known throughout the entire automobile world, with which he has been identified since it was born in this country. As chairman of the A. A. A. Racing Board, and consequently the first chairman of the Vanderbilt Cup Commission, he has blazed the way and thereby made it easier for those who have followed in his footsteps. Keenly interested in high speed, Mr. Pardington, even when he retired from the chairmanship, could not resist the temptation to have more or less to do with the Vanderbilt races and the Florida meet and other important events. In accepting his new position, Mr. Pardington leaves a high-salaried place with the New York & New Jersey Telephone Company.

New York Times July 29, 1915 P7:6

Promoter of Vanderbilt Cup Race and Leading Auto Referee

     A. R. Pardington, Vice President and, General Manager of the Lincoln Highway Association, and a well-known figure in the automobile world, died yesterday at Detroit. He was 54 years old, and had been ill for several weeks. In the last fifteen years Mr. Pardington has done much for automobile racing.

      In the early days of the automobile Mr. Pardington organized the Long Island Automobile Club. He was responsible for the first Vanderbilt Cup race on Long Island, and it was through his influence that William K. Vanderbilt, Jr., donated the trophy, which remains the most coveted trophy in auto competition. He also acted as referee of the race.

     As Chairman of the American Automobile Association Racing Committee, now the Contest Board, Mr. Pardington established automobile racing on a firm basis, and the contest rules which govern auto racing today are practically the same adopted by the Racing Committee at his recommendation. He resigned the Chairmanship of the Racing Committee to accept the position of Vice President and General Manager of the Long Island Motor Parkway. When the Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize Trophy were turned over to the Motor Cups Holding Company Mr. Pardington was made the active head of the committee. For a time he was connected with the commercial end of the industry, but about three years ago was appointed Vice President and General Manager of the Lincoln Highway Association, with headquarters in Detroit.

     Mr. Pardington refereed many important automobile races. He was the referee at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and officiated at several race meets around New York and in Florida.


The Fort Wayne Daily, Fri., 6 Aug 1915; P14.View 12K image

Lincoln Highway Man Passes Away at Home in Detroit.

     William M. Griffin, Fort Wayne's premier Lincoln highway booster, today received formal notice from the Lincoln highway association of (the death of A. B. A. R. Pardington, vice president and secretary, of that organization, which occured recently in Detroit. Mr. Pardington was in Fort Wayne on the occasion of the Lincoln highway dedication and delivered a short address at the Concordia college campus. It was his last public appearance, as shortly afterward he was taken seriously ill and never rallied. Mr. Griffin and a number of other local men were close personal friends of the decedent.

New York Times Aug 1, 1915, VI:8:5


Promoter of Vanderbilt Cup Race and Leading Auto Referee

     As President of the Lincoln Highway Association, Henry B. Joy, his associate and friend, issued the following appreciation last week of A. R. Pardington and his work:

     "In the death of A. R. Pardington the patriotic work of the Lincoln Highway suffers an irreparable loss. His collaborators have lost a commanding officer of peerless efficiency, of unflagging effort, of unflinching judicial fairness, with a patriotic devotion to the cause of the great memorial, the Lincoln Highway, such as could not be exceeded in any cause.

     "Mr. Pardington gave of his own means and of himself so liberally that he stimulated every person with whom he came in contact to become a soldier in the cause of the Lincoln Memorial Highway. His example of self-sacrificing devotion to the highway has given the cause an ever-increasing army of followers, who will aid more liberally by donations and personal work as the result of the Pardington example of devotion and patriotism. It is not too much to say, it is not enough to say, that the Lincoln Highway insignia, stretching from Jersey City on the Hudson River to Oakland on the Pacific, is more his work than that of any other one man. Thousands have given dollars to the cause, Pardington gave himself."


New York Times Apr 5, 1914, IX:8:1


A. R. Pardington Tells Pittsburghers of Present Accomplishment on Road.


States and Their Component Communities Have Done Much Work on the Memorial

     Just what has been and is being accomplished by the Lincoln Highway Association in the development of its transcontinental road from New York to San Francisco was told recently to members of the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh, Penn., by A. R. Pardington, Vice President of the association. Mr. Pardington described the growth of the Lincoln Highway Association, the plan to make permanent this road, gave a brief résumé of the amounts subscribed and the immense amount of work now going forward in every State on this memorial to Abraham Lincoln.

     “It is my purpose,” he said, “to tell you the story of the Lincoln Highway in the most direct and simple manner possible, leaving to the short-story writers and orators those word pictures which they are best able to paint. The Lincoln Highway to-day is the longest road in the world; it is the most traveled road in the world; it is the one road on which more has already been spent, on which more is now bing spent, and on which, during the years to come, more money and effort will be expended, than on any other single road known. In passing from New York on the east to San Francisco on the west but four large cities are interconnected, these in turn bing Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Omaha, and Salt Lake City.

     “The association was organized in the late Spring of 1913. The Directors chosen represented many lines of activity, particularly those interested in the manufacture and sale of automobiles and allied industries. The offices for the association were opened in Detroit in June. The route of the Lincoln Highway was announced simultaneously all over the country on the 14th of September. The selection of the route seemed to appeal to everybody.

     “The State of New Jersey is now considering a concurrent resolution for taking over the Lincoln Highway from Jersey City to Camden, with the idea of establishing it as a State highway, and with the further idea of having every foot of the highway and the streets between the two points in New Jersey renamed Lincoln Way. The Jersey City Plank Road, for over 100 years known by that popular name, on Dec. 13 was re-dedicated Lincoln Way. After having been reconstructed at a cost of $1,250,000, it is now a magnificent boulevard 100 feet wide, about eighteen feet above high-water line, is bordered by boulevard lights and broad walks and traffic surfaces are of brick and concrete. The automobile clubs of Newark and Jersey City are now planning to beautify that boulevard by the planting of suitable trees. All of the public service corporations of the State of New Jersey have consented to the placing of red, white and blue Lincoln Highway markers on the poles which they own.

     “Between New Jersey and Pennsylvania the Penn Memorial Bridge, a project which for years has lain dormant, has been revived with the idea of having that bridge established as a connecting highway between New Jersey and the Keystone State. Through and crossing the city of Philadelphia, the department of Public streets is now marking, at city expense, the route of the Lincoln Highway, beginning at the ferry and extending well out the Lancaster Pike. In numerous towns and villages across this State agitation is already under way. These towns include York, Bedford, Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Wilkinsburg, etc. The route has already been marked across some of the counties to the east of Pittsburgh.

     “The Highway leaves Pennsylvania on the Ohio River at East Liverpool and across the State of Ohio traverses what is known as Market Route No 3, selected by the Lincoln Highway Association, because it had already been designated by the State Highway Department and the State Legislature for construction and for maintenance by the State. In every one of the twelve counties across the Sate active co-operation has been undertaken, organizations have been formed and as a result of this activity during the season of 1914 many hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent jointly by the State, the counties, and the towns, in having a permanent road.

     “Across the State of Indiana a remarkable condition of affairs results, in view of the fact that the State has no organized Highway Department. In that State the work of the Lincoln Highway Association has for the past four months been concentrated on a co-ordination of efforts between the counties traversed by this highway. The results are that before the touring season of 1915, practically every foot of mileage across the Hoosier State will be paved with a permanent highway, using either concrete or brick and concretes. A notable example of patriotic co-operation is that of the citizens of Elkhart County. Joch C. Boss, a brick manufacturer of Elkhart, has headed a subscription list which will be signed by a sufficiently large number of citizens to insure the construction of twenty-five miles of brick surfaced concrete road, each mile of which will be dedicated as a memorial by the contributor to some deceased member of his family, these miles as an individual unit becoming memorials to Abraham Lincoln.

     “Across Illinois the State Highway engineers have concentrated effort on the highway with the result that there remains but one bridge or culvert to be replaced by concrete, each one of which is not less than 20 feet in width. The highway is also being resurveyed, straightened, and broadened, and reports are being received almost daily of appropriations being made by the counties.

     “In Nebraska the population is more or less sparse and much aid will have to be afforded the citizens through the association. The Union Pacific Railroad parallels the Lincoln Highway from Omaha through to the Wyoming line, both following the Platte Valley. In the establishment of the road, hundreds of crossings of the railroad were necessary. The result has been agitation on the part of the railroad company to the segregation of these crossings. This work is now going on. In this State many of the towns and villages have redesignated the streets and highways, so that much of the mileage across Nebraska is known as Lincoln Way.

     “Across the State of Wyoming, the same conditions prevail. The population is sparse, realty values are low, and in the years to come the work of the association will in large measure be directed toward co-operating with the citizens in the way of financial aid. what has been said of Nebraska and Wyoming is in a lager measure true of Utah and Nevada. Nevada, for instance, has but 81,000 population. Already the highway has been marked through many long arid stretches by the local inhabitants.

     “In California about 85 per cent of the road between San Francisco and beautiful Lake Tahoe, on the State line between Nevada and California is now improved. The State Highway Department of California is putting down experimental stretches of road surface of varying lengths. Over 60 percent of the entire road is now marked with the Lincoln Highway marker. In innumerable instances the Commercial Clubs or Chambers of Commerce are erecting at the east and west boundaries of the towns large roadside signs, giving the name of the community, together with the distances to New York and San Francisco, and calling particular attention to some feature of the town, as, for instance, in Canton, Ohio, mention is made of the fact that Canton is the final resting-place of William McKinley.

     “Tree-planting organizations have been formed in the public schools and by Women's Auxiliaries. The Federated Women's Clubs of America are now starting a prolonged campaign for the raising of funds to be expended in beautifying this great artery of transcontinental travel. Agitation has already been started toward the construction of laterals leading into the highway from industrial centers like Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and toward points of scenic and historic interest like the Lincoln farm at Lexington, Ky., Yellowstone Park, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon of Arizona.

     Every commercial organization of Baltimore has united petitioning the Directors of this association to re-route the Lincoln Highway in order that it may pass through Baltimore. The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have already petitioned that the highway be re-routed to, after passing through Baltimore, including Washington, and we are advised that a resolution is soon to be introduced in the House of Representatives at Washington, urging the demands and claims of Baltimore and Washington. The Mayors of numerous cities in New England have united in a petition to permit placing of the Lincoln Highway markers from New York through to Boston. Not a Director of the association lives in a city on the route which has been named. None of those from whom we have received large contributions, in certain instances as high as $300,000, is on the route as it has been named.

     Two thousand miles of the Lincoln Highway must be improved at an Estimated cost per mile for permanent surfacing, supplementing the work of the local communities, of $5,000. The individual mile sections will be suitably marked as memorials by those who have contributed toward their improvement."


New York Times 1914


W. K. Vanderbilt, Jr., May succeed A. R. Pardington on the Race Committee.

     A. R. Pardington, Chairman of the Racing Board of the American Automotive Association, announced yesterday that he would decline a reappointment. He expressed his views in advance of the annual meeting next month, he added, so that there might be no uncertainty on the question, and so as to have no doubt in the minds of the naming officers regarding his wishes in the matter.

     Mr. Pardington during the past year has been

"Think of the time it will save the busy man of. Speed limits are left behind, the Great White Way is before him, and with the throttle open he can go, go, go and keep going, 50, 60 or 90 miles an hour until Riverhead or Southampton is reached, in time for a scotch at the Meadow Club, a round of golf and a refreshing dip in the surf, and all before dinner is served, or the electric lights begin to twinkle." - Arthur R. Pardington, the parkway corporation's vice president at the 1908 ground-breaking ceremony


Vanderbilt Museum Photo

Pardington shovels at the ground-breaking ceremony.

The Traveling Salesman

The Long Island Motor Parkway may have been William K. Vanderbilt II's grand vision, but it was an auto enthusiast named A.R. Pardington who had the crucial job of selling the idea to the people who owned the land.

     As the Long Island Motor Parkway Corp.'s vice president -- and with Vanderbilt driving around Europe -- Pardington spearheaded a massive public relations campaign, promising, as the Evening Telegram put it, that the $2-million road would ``transform Long Island into an Automobile Paradise.''

     He went from town to town, trying to convince Long Islanders to either donate or sell some of their land. The value of the land they retained, he predicted, would explode with the coming of the parkway.

     Some heeded Pardington's call and donated strips of land. Others agreed to sell. “The day of the automobile has come,” Pardington said at the parkway's ground breaking ceremony in June, 1908, while Willie K. was on his yacht nursing an attack of hay fever.

     The son of a Methodist minister from Michigan, Arthur Raynor Rayner Pardington began his career as a hospital pharmacist in Brooklyn and later went to work for the fledgling New York and New Jersey Telephone Co.

     An auto enthusiast, Pardington helped organize the Long Island Automobile Club, one of nine early car clubs that soon banded together to form the American Automobile Association. He helped oversee the Vanderbilt Cup race and later was the referee for one of the early Indianapolis 500 races. When the Long Island Motor Parkway Corp. was formed, Vanderbilt tapped Pardington and made him vice president for construction. Pardington and his family moved to Smithtown, purchasing a house on Jericho Turnpike and building a three-car garage.

     In 1913, Pardington moved to Detroit to help create another road: the Lincoln Highway, planned by automobile manufacturers as a way to increase demand for automobiles. Now U.S. 30, the highway stretched across the country, from Jersey City to Oakland, Calif.

     Pardington died in Detroit in 1915. Pallbearers included Henry Ford and E.L. Benson, president of the Studebaker Motor Co. His family returned to Smithtown, and his two daughters are buried there.

-- Sylvia Adcock


Who Really Won the First Indy 500
North American Motorsports Journal 1997
by Russell Jaslow

     A howl came up amongst the Lozier camp, and this was quickly silenced by A. R. Pardington, the AAA referee, when he announced that the result would not be official until the next morning (thus beginning another Indy tradition). It was released to the press that every position in the race was under scrutiny except for the winner.

"Will Honor Pardington: Directors of Lincoln Highway to Erect Memorial in Utah"
The Washington Post
Sunday, 5 DEC 1915; Page 19 Col. 5
transcription: Marshall Davies Lloyd 05/15/2003


Directors of Lincoln Highway to
Erect Memorial in Utah

The recent decision of the directors of the Linoln Highway Association to build a memorial section to the late A[rthur]. R[ayner]. Pardington, whose activities were responsible to such a great extent for the phenomenal development of the Lincoln highway, is meeting with the hearty approval of the thousands of friends who mourn his loss. Mr. Pardington was associated with the automobile industry since its earliest days, and thus gained a wide acquaintance from coast to coast. The knowledge of his untiring efforts in forwarding the Lincoln highway cause is generally known and appreciated. On this account the decision to erect a memorial section that will be a fitting tribute to his memory, somewhere on the route of the highway between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Reno, Nev., has met with general acclaim.

Motor Age Magazine 1915

Touring and Racing Lose Friend by Pardington's Death

Lincoln Highway Official Made the Building of Memorial Road His Life Work and Formulated First Set of Contest Rules

A. R. Pardington
Graphic should read 1862-1915

In the death of A. R. Pardington, vice-president of the Lincoln Highway Association, the patriotic work suffers an irreparable loss. His collaborators have lost a commanding officer of peerless efficiency, of unflagging effort even during failing health and physical distress, of unflinching judicial fairness, with a patriotic devotion to the cause of the great memorial, the Lincoln highway, such as could not be exceeded in any cause.

     He gave of his own means and of himself so liberally that he stimulated every person with whom he came in contact to become a soldier in the cause of the Lincoln memorial way.

     Stretched on his bed of suffering, knowing his approaching end, he gave his aides instructions verbally, as his waning strength would permit, so that the affairs of the highway might go on.

     It is not too much to say, it is not enough to say, that the Lincoln highway insignia, stretching from Jersey City on the Hudson river to Oakland on the Pacific, is more his work than that of any other man. Thousands have given dollars to the cause. PARDINGTON GAVE HIMSELF --Henry B. Joy, president of the Lincoln Highway Association.

ardington is gone. The Black and white checkered flag, emblem of victory that he put on the race courses of the United States, carries a wreath of immortelles and the red, white and blue marker of the Lincoln Highway the road for which he worked and died, is bound with a band of crepe. For the death of A. R. Pardington, first chairman of the contest board of the American Automobile Association and vice-president and secretary of the Lincoln Highway Association who passed away at Detroit July 28, is a loss to racing and transcontinental touring. He was an ardent votary of both.

     Several eulogies have been written for Pardington. There are two, however, that he himself created, eulogies that will out-last the words of praise set down by pen on paper. One is his record as a racing official. The other is the story of the wonderful development of the Lincoln highway. By formulating rules for speed contest that were just and enforcing these rules without fear or favor, he made it possible for the sport to reach the high plane that it now holds in this country. His belief in the Lincoln highway and the enthusiasm that he gave to the project changed the memorial road from a dream trail to a thoroughfare of reality, stretching 3,400 miles across the continent and linking the Atlantic to the Pacific.

     The story of Pardington's life is a story of enthusiasm over projects that were worth while and labor performed to prove them so. He was a man who served, an altruist who worked not for himself but to the end that others might enjoy the fruits of his toil. He drew up the original racing rules and served as chairman of the first A. A. A. contest board because he felt that motor car manufacturers would profit from lessons learned in competitive test and that thousands of Americans would derive enjoyment from this new type of sport. The same unselfish motive prompted him to accept the position of vice-president of the Lincoln Highway Association. He wanted to help build a road that would be worthy of the world-beloved man whose name it would perpetuate, a highway offering an opportunity for touring to thousands of motorists.

     Fifty [should read fifty four since 1. family records indicate he was born 30 July 1862; 2. the 1870 census for Oakland, MI lists him as 7 not 5; and 3. obit--"A. R. Pardington Passes Away," Horseless Age (1 Aug 1951) pp. 154-155--lists him as 54 at time of death; and 4. in 1863 Rev. Raynor (note spelling) S. Pardington, his father, is listed as pastor of the Methodist Church on Washington Street. Note then the graphic on this page is also incorrect] years ago, the departed chief of the Lincoln highway was born in Saginaw, Mich., and when a young man, came to Detroit, where he received his education and began the study of pharmacy. When he was twenty-three years of age, he moved to New York city and completed his pharmaceutical course there. Immediately upon leaving school he was appointed director of pharmacy in one of the large Brooklyn hospitals and served in this connection until he was offered the management of the Long Island Bell Telephone Co. when it was in the early stages of its development. He proved himself a most efficient executive and built up this exchange from a few connections to many thousands.

     While managing the telephone company, Pardington joined the state naval militia and served on the staff of Commodore Forshew as quartermaster. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, he was elevated to the rank of paymaster and saw active service with the fleet in Cuban waters.

     When peace was declared, Pardington resumed his work with the telephone company until William K. Vanderbilt asked him to take charge of the Long Island Motor Parkway.

     While associated with the New York millionaire, Pardington organized the Long Island Automobile Club and was chairman of the contest board of the American Automobile Association, which was organized to conduct the first Vanderbilt cup race in 1904. He drew up the first set of racing rules used in this country and has been keenly interested in the sport since its inception in America, officiating as referee at the Vanderbilt cup classics, the meets held on the sands of Daytona-Ormond and the annual 500-mile contests at Indianapolis.

     Three years ago, Pardington retired from business activities to his home in Smithtown, Long Island. He was suffering with ill health at that time. When the Lincoln Highway Association was formed in 1913, however, he was requested to take active charge of the promotion work by President Carl G. Fisher and the other founders of the memorial road. He moved to Detroit and became the chief missionary of the ocean-to-ocean trail. He was the dynamo that generated the enthusiasm that swept from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He solicited funds, he supervised the marking of the 3.400 miles of road and assisted the various sections in improving the highway through their territory. He died, a missionary working in behalf of a great cause.

"A. R. Pardington Passes Away," Horseless Age (1 Aug 1951) pp. 154-155.

Arthur Rayner Pardington

A. R. Pardington Passes Away.

With the death of Arthur R. Pardington in Detroit last week [28 July 1915] there passed away a man who had been one of the leading figures in the automobile competition world for a number of years and who for the past three years has played a prominent part in the materialization of the Lincoln Highway. Mr. Pardington, known as "A. R." to those associated with him in the numerous competition events, for a number of years was connected with the telephone company in Brooklyn, during which time he also devoted considerable attention to automobile racing matters.

     It was through his influence that W. K. Vanderbilt, Jr., donated the cup, the competition for which provided the historic motor races on Long Island. As head of the committee now known as the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association, during the early days of the A. A. A., Pardington did much to establish automobile racing on a sound and organized basis. The construction of the Long Island Motor Parkway and the running of the early races on the cement roadway were supervised by Pardington.

     After a brief direct connection with the automobile industry as head of a concern handling lubricants, Pardington took up the work of directing the construction of the Lincoln Highway, becoming vice president and general manager of the Lincoln Highway Association. In recent years Pardington continued to act in an official capacity at prominent automobile contests, his last connection in this respect being his refereeing of the 1915 Indianapolis 500-mile race. Pardington was one of the founders of the Long Island Automobile Club. He was 54 years old.

Pallbearers for the funeral of Arthur Rayner Pardington (29 Jul 1915):
Henry Bourne Joy
(23 Nov 1864-6 Nov 1936)
President: Packard Motor Car Co.
Yale (1892)
President: Lincoln Highway Association
Naval Militia, MI (along with A. R. Pardington)
Automotive Hall of Fame
Bro-in-law of Truman Handy Newberry,
  Sec. of Navy under Roosevelt
Henry Bourne Joy
Roy Dikeman Chapin
(23 Feb 1880-10 Feb 1936)
President: Hudson Motor Car Co.
US Secretary of Commerce under Hoover
Lincoln Highway Association
a founder of Chalmers Motor Car Co.
Roy Dikeman Chapin
Henry W. Clark President: First & Old National Bank
Carl Graham Fisher
(12 January 1874-15 July 1939)
VP: Lincoln Highway Association
President: Prest O Lite Co.
Automotive Hall of Fame
Carl Graham Fisher
Col. Sidney Dunn Waldon
(29 Jan 1873-20 Jan 1945)
Director Engineering., Cadillac Motor Car Co.
VP Packard Motor Car Co.
Director of the Lincoln Highway Association
President: Detroit Rapid Transit Commission
Air Craft Production Board (WWI)
Sidney D Waldon
Henry Ford
(30 Jul 1863-7 Apr 1947)
Ford Motor Car Co. Henry Ford
Charles Williams Nash
(28 Jan 1864—6 June 6 1948)
President: General Motor Corp
Co-founder: Buick Motor Company
Charles Williams Nash
(James) Alvan Macauley
(17 Jan 1872-17 Jan 1952)
VP & General Manager: Packard Motor Car Co.
Head: Automotive Council for War Production (WW II)
(James) Alvan Macauley
Henry Martyn Leland
(16 Feb 1843-26 Mar 1932)
Adv. Mgr, Cadillac Motor Car Co.
Head: Leland and Faulconer Co.
made engines for Olds
Founder: Lincoln and Cadillac
Inventor of the V8 & electric starter
Henry Martyn Leland
Hugh Chalmers President: Chalmers Motor Co.
VP National Cash Register Company
Initiated MVP award in baseball
Charles Anthony Hughes
(18 May 1881-)
Secretary, Detroit Atheletic Club Charles A. Hughes
E. L. Benson President: Studebaker Motor Co.
Russell Alexander A1ger, Jr.
(27 Feb 1873-26 Jan 1930)
s/o Gen./Gov./Sen. Alger
a Founder: Packard Motor Car Company
Russell Alexander Alger Jr.
Albert Younglove Gowen
(8 May 1883-6 Jan 1965)
President: Lehigh Portland Cement Co.
Harvard (1907)
Kelly Island Lime & Transport
Albert Younglove Gowen
Frank(lin) August Seiberling
(6 Oct 1859-11 Aug 1955)
Founder & President: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Director of the Lincoln Highway Association
Franklin August Seiberling




Pallbearers for the funeral of ARTHUR  R  PARDINGTON on 29 July 1915

 Henry B. Joy             President: Packard Motor Car Co.

 Roy D. Chapin            President: Hudson Motor  Car Co.,

 Henry W. Clark           President: First & Old National Bank

Carl G. Fisher            President: Prest O Lite Co.

 S. D. Waldon             Director Engineering., Cadillac Motor Car Co.

 Henry Ford               Ford Motor Car Co .

 C[harles]. W. Nash               President: General Motor Corp

 Alvan Macauley,          Vice Prr{sic}sident & General Manager, Packard Motor Car Co.

 Henry M. Leland          Adv. Mgr, Cadillac Motor Car Co.

 Hugh Chalmers            President: Chalmers Motor Co.,

 Charles A. Hughes            Secretary, Detroit Atheletic Club

 E. L. Benson                 President: Studebaker Motor Co.

 Russell A[lexander]. A1ger   [U. S. Sen. for MI; Sec. of War for McKinley]

Brooklyn, New York Directories, 1888-1890; (Ancestry.com)

Arthur R. Pardingtondrugs576 BergenBrooklynNY1888, 1889

Smithtown Telephone Directory; (rootsweb.com)

Name Business Town Year
Pardington, A. R.
Smithtown 1913
Pardington, Ruth C., Miss
Hauppague 1928

Pardington, A. R., "Modern Appian Way for the Motorist." Harper's Weekly 51 (March 16, 1907): 390-2. Transcription: Marshall Davies Lloyd (20 May 2003).





ONG ISLAND, like the Empire of ancient Rome, is to have its Appian Way--a great wide-stretching parkway, lined by miles of sea and Sound coast, by numerous spring-fed lakes, by ancient hills and waving trees, and beautiful vistas of wood and water. Rome's great highway was conceived for military and utilitarian purposes: Long Island's parkway to serve pleasure-loving classes only. Unlike the road from Rome to Brindisi, no domestic animals nor commercial vehicles will travel along its way. Motor-cars, designed and built for speed and pleasure will be its sole travellers. Speed unrestricted, save that necessary to insure the safety of all users, will be permitted and urged. Police traps will be but a memory. Straight east to Riverhead and beyond--sixty, eighty, or ninety miles out--this parkway will be the embodiment of the new era. A railroad without rails, and the users supplying the rolling-stock--a smooth, dustless roadbed, hills, grades, and stretches of level--a perfect chute, if you will, with nothing in this country or Europe that can approach it!

     Think of the time it will save the busy man of affairs, who likes to crowd into each day a bit of relaxation! He will leave down-town at three o'clock in the afternoon, take the Subway to a garage within striking-distance of the new Blackwells Island East River Bridge. In twenty minutes a 60-horse-power car will have him at the western terminus of the motor parkway. Here a card of admission passes him through the gates, speed limits are left behind, the great white way is before him, and with throttle open he can go, go, go, and keep going fifty, sixty, or ninety miles an hour until Riverhead or Southampton is reached in time for a Scotch at the Meadow Club, a round of golf, and a refreshing dip in the surf--and all before dinner is served or the electric lights begin to twinkle.

     Possible? Yes, and sure to be and every-day occurrence, a common one for many. Think, again, what it means, if you live at Great Neck or Oyster Bay or Nassau, to take a cup of coffee and a roll, step into your high-powered runabout, open the throttle, and drive to Riverhead sixty miles away, and back in time for an early breakfast with your family at seven or seven-thirty depending on whether you leave home at five or five-thirty. Can it be done? Surely, I know scores of men who are counting the days before they can do this thing--do it regularly--and be "fit" when they take up their duty at the down-town exchanges. Think of the greater mental capacity, after two hours in fresh air, driving at top speed, with no though but to go, go faster, and a thought for the car. There will be no grade crossing along this new Appian Way: every intersecting highway, trolley or steam railroad is to be passed either above or below grade, and each bridge to be constructed of reinforced concrete, thus eliminating repairs and vibration.

     This magnificent pleasure boulevard, of a sort and for a purpose never before constructed, will be of varying widths--from on hundred to two hundred feet--and with a roadway approximately fifty feet wide. An artistic steel fence--and there will be no less than one hundred and twenty miles of it--will protect the racing man and tourist from the careless pedestrian, the predatory domestic animal, and the heavy-laden farm vehicles or horse-drawn pleasure carriages. No slow-moving "rubber-neck" or "sight-seeing" automobiles will be encountered, as none will be permitted within the toll-gates. Landscape architects and engineers are working out designs for a general scheme of forestry and horticulture, so that within a few years the highway will be a veritable parkway--a beauty spot. The numerous toll-gates, permitting access and egress--and they will be placed at such intervals that the convenience of the motoring public will be conserved--are to be adaptations of the old English inn, unobtrusive architecturally, and so situated as to comport with the general surroundings. That menace to the motorist who now uses the ordinary country highways--the driver of a slow-moving team, who carelessly approaches from a crossroad--will be entirely eliminated by the construction of no less than fifty viaducts--highway crossings--all of reinforced concrete, form all vibration free, and as permanent as the parkway itself. The two or three steam and trolly roads to be crossed will be treated similarly.

     As nearly as may be, the roadway will be entirely dustless. Road-building engineers and contractors, because of the unique conditions presented all over the country, are studying those road building materials which can be combined into a perfectly dust-proof, water-proof, and non-skidding surface. Cement, hot tar, and heavy Texas or Kentucky oils have been suggested and are under experiment. Because of their abundance on Long Island, it seems probable that pit and creek gravel, sand, clay, and loam, variously mixed and treated, will serve in lieu of the heavier trap-rock metal, which is foreign to the locality and inadequate as to supply.

     A most elaborate system of intercommunication, by means of telephones, has been carefully considered, and numerous automatic timing devices are to be installed. The times of any car under test, at any point during its flight, will be possible by the use of a most extensive set of electrical starting and stopping devices. Certificates, substantiating the claims of the owner who has a runabout or turnabout which he thinks can "burn up" the miles in seconds less than a minute, will be supplied, and those who scoff will be convinced. The many rash claims made for this car or that car, the many challenges issued, but never accepted for lack of opportunity, will be carefully considered, and the candidates tried out before they "really" meet--as meet they must. "Endurance" and "fuel-consumption" tests will be of daily occurrence. Motors running consecutively for ten, twenty, or thirty days or longer will be a frequent sight and objects of the most intense interest. Being disinterested the management of this great "proving ground" will be able to supply observing officials, whose sole duty and interest will be to record facts. The impetus to the manufacturing industry following the opening of this parkway for these purposes will be instantaneous and far-reaching.

Mineola Court House
The County Court House at Mineola, Long Island, where Motor-racing on Long Island was born in the Summer of 1904

     This new Appian Way must, ere it is two years old, become a veritable "white way," rivalling Broadway. It is sure to be bordered by inns and cafés of that high class which appeals to the outdoor, sport-loving class who eat better because they have driven long and hard, and who sleep better for having done both. Names now but scarcely known will be on the tongue of every user of this great parkway. Pronounce them and see how deliciously they roll from the tongue. Think of them, and be reminded of the early history of the island, when indian lore and tradition were history, when the early settlers "fought, bled, and died," but retained the nomenclature. Ronkonkoma, Shinnecock, Quoque, Acquebogue, Napeague, Speonk, Haupague, and many others--all --end page 390-- have their places in the early history of Long Island, and all to-day are on its map. Some of them are famous in the history of the country, while others are almost unspoken, save locally, or by the clerks in the post-office service. There are others, less euphonious, but none the less pleasing, as each tells its own story of disaster, deprivation, or early settlement. Read them over and analyze their meaning. One cannot go amiss in understanding the meaning of Scuttle Hole, Hardscrabble, Bartling Hollow, Bread and Cheese Hollow, Erie Place, Canoe Place, Ram's Head, Hog Neck, or Promised Land.

This Photograph was taken close to the proposed Automobile Parkway on Long Island

     I have known lifelong residents of Long Island to doubt that such names ever did or do exist, but they are readily located on any ordinary railroad map, and they were all pronounced long before the "oldest inhabitant" began to have his day. These are but few of the attractions of Long Island. Its chief charm is perhaps its natural and varied scenery. All of the sea and Sound coast of New York State belongs to the four counties comprising Long Island, while the beauties of Continental Europe may be found in the middle and towards the northern portion: Scotland, with its barren wastes, heather, and lochs, is outdone at Montauk Point. The north side is indented every few miles by a chain of practically landlocked salt-water bays, affording unequaled yacht anchorages, which are natural havens of refuge in stormy weather and the rendezvous for the New York, Atlantic, Brooklyn, and other yacht clubs while cruising to the eastward. To the yachtsman, whose objective is Newport, Woods Holl, or Marblehead, this motor parkway will be of greatest convenience. His yacht may be sent to Port Jefferson, Greenport, or any yachting station to the east end of the island in the morning, while he remains at his desk in town. At closing-time he can meet his motor-car and make the nearest entrance to the parkway in short order. Then it is a dash to his anchorage, and after a night aboard, cruising the Peconie or Gardners bay, or in Buzzards Bay, he can return to his car and be back in New York before the clerk opens the door at eight-thirty the next morning.

     Not alone is the New Yorker to enjoy the benefits and delights of this new motorway. His fellow enthusiast of Boston, Providence, Hartford, and New Haven will surely find his way to New London, thence to Greenport by boat, or to Bridgeport and across to Port Jefferson, with but a few minutes' drive over fine roads to the parkway, reaching New York hours ahead of the time required were he to follow the Sound road, and in so pleasant and comfortable a manner that his envy will compel him, in time, to see that a trunk line from Boston to New York is constructed. The yachtsman a day late in joining the fleet can "overhaul" it by the use of his motor-car and by means of the parkway. He may do better: he may decide to establish for himself a home, a villa, or an estate in which event he can go either east or west before he boards his "water-motor" or goes to his office.

Lake Ronkonkoma
Lake Ronkonkoma, near which the Automobile Parkway passes

     Long Island, in the halcyon of bicycling was known throughout the land as the Bycyclist's Paradise. Because of the generally good roads and generally fair treatment accorded to the motoring public. Long Island, six years ago, won the very enviable title of "Automobilist' Arcadia." The motor parkway but calls attention to the important part Long Island has played in the sport since 1900. The first of no less than six class events, some of which have never been held, either in America or in Europe, were held over roads in Queens and Nassau counties. The first international event held in the country, the race for the Vanderbilt cup, was held over roads in part in Queens, but in the majority in Nassau County. The second and third race for this classic trophy was held in Nassau County, and it was because of the one fatality incidental to that race that Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt, Jr., and his associates in the sport decided that to preserve the sport it must be taken from the public highway and transferred to a private track or highway. As the deed of gift prevented the holding of the race on a special track, and as it was planned to construct a highway suitable to the conduct of this event; it soon became evident that original ideas must needs be developed. The result was the formation of a company, its incorporation, and the drafting of a plan which is now being closely followed. The early completion of this special highway--the Appian Way--calls to mind the fact that much within the limits of Greater New York must needs be done to make it conveniently available. The completion of the great Blackwells Island Bridge, destined to be the natural artery of travel between Manhattan and Queens, is at least two years off. There is no assurance that its necessary approaches, both on the New York and Long Island shores, will be in readiness at the time the bridge is declared completed and ready for the enormous volume of traffic which now congests the ferries. Assuming that the bridge and its approaches are ready each at the same time, what of the magnificent scheme of boulevard improvement for Thompson Avenue, Hillside Avenue, and the present Hoffman Boulevard, all of which now are totally inadequate? There remains much to be done on the part of the city and borough officials to make the "getaway" easy and safe. Brooklyn motorists are in even a worse plight than are those who claim Manhattan as their place of registration and residence. There is no route even moderately direct from Brooklyn to the great system of roads which cobweb Queens Borough and Nassau County. Concert of action insistence at public hearings and tireless effort are required to make this modern Appian Way the pleasure-spot that it is destined to be and remunerative to its promoters; the financial success of this venture means the construction of others, some longer, some shorter.

     The men behind this parkway project--men of affairs, --end of page 391-- of large affairs--having been accustomed to "doing things," may be relied upon to "do this one thing"--build this new Appian Way. The list of directors, all high in the business and financial world, reads like a page from Who's Who or the directory of directors: a few of them are William K. Vanderbilt, Sr. and Jr., Harry Payne Whitney, August Belmon, Colgate Hoyt, H. B. Hollins, Charles T. Barney, and Frederick G. Bourne. Twenty-six such names complete this the most remarkable directorate ever gotten together. Their cooperation in a banking, railroad, canal, power-plant, or steamship proposition could hardly be secured, but when the great Appian Way, this motor parkway, was suggested, they were a unit, ready to serve and ready to assist in the financial backing required, all eager to facilitate its completion that they, with the great motoring public, might enjoy to the limit the pleasure of high-speed or more leisurely touring.

Through Miles of this sort of Land the new Parkway is to be laid

     The progress now being made is phenomenal. A few months ago, or on October 10, 1906, no steps toward the accomplishment of this great object had been taken. It is expected that by April 1, 1907, work of construction will begin simultaneously at no less than sixty points, and that by October 1, 1907, the parkway will be in a state of completion, making it possible to hold the fourth contest for the Vanderbilt cup on Long Island, but not on Long Island public highways. Society next October need neither remain up all night nor lose its beauty sleep in order that the start may be witnessed. Racing from mid-forenoon to late in the afternoon will be possible, there being no general traffic to suffer by interference incidental to the event or the attending thousands.

---Page 392--

"Political Influence of No Avail." Star and Sentinel, Gettysburg, PA. Vol. CXIV No. 28. Saturday, 11 Jul 1914 (P1:C3).View 46K image


Lincoln Highway Not to be Diverted--Direct Route from Coast to Coast

     That the Lincoln Memorial Highway will not be diverted from the original route as planned by the Highway Association seems quite evident from the letter recently received by the Secretary of the York Chamber of Commerce. There has been much agitation over the route since the inception of the idea of establishing a coast to coast boulevard and many of those who were slow in lending support to the proposed highway are now making the biggest noise about having the route changed so that it may pass through some favored spot of their choice.

     Vice President, A. R. Pardington, of Chicago, who is also Secretary of the Lincoln Highway Association states that while there is agitation in Washington and Baltimore to change the route so as to have it pass through these two cities, the decision of the board of directors in the approval of the original route is final and that it is the disposition of the directors to sit tight. The national association is not in any way whatever connected with any organization or body in the country and it is said, that the influence will be of no avail in having the proposed change brought about.

     The original route from Philadelphia, through Lancaster, York and Gettysburg and on West has been marked and is now generally recognized by tourists as the Lincoln Highway. Many cities along this route have under consideration suitable memorials to mark the entrance and exit of the Highway. Chambersburg and York are contemplating the construction of Arches, and at other places the route will be marked with trees and shrubs making the boulevard attractive as well as a highway of comfort.

     Much credit is given to the Federation of Women's Clubs of America by Mr. Pardington for what they are doing to assist the movement. When Congress was asked for its indorsement endorsement of a Highway the matter was juggled by politicians until it resulted in the construction of a mass of granite confined to the City of Washington. The American people are now building a memorial to the venerable Lincoln and are not soliciting political inuuence influence.

Smithtown News, abt. 02 Dec 1991.

Janet (Pardington) Noble

     Janet P. Noble, 93, long-time Smithtown resident and former schoolteacher at the Little Schoolhouse in Head of the River, died at her home on Landing Meadow Road, Smithtown, on December 2.

     Mrs. Noble was born in Brooklyn in 1899, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur R. Pardington. Her family moved to Head of the River in 1910. Her father, who refereed the Vanderbilt Cup Races on Long Island, became president of the Smithtown Ice Company.

     She attended schools in Smithtown, Friends Academy in Locust Valley, Oberlin College and Oxford College in Ohio. In addition to teaching in Smihtown, Mrs. Noble worked in schools in New Jersey and Millbrook, New York. She also worked in Town Hall as a clerk and served as the chief clerk of the Office of Price Administration in the old Smithtown Bank building during World War II. Survivors include her husband, Robert C. Noble and a son, Robert N. Noble.

     Funeral services were held today at Hawkins and Davis Funeral Home, Smithtown, with the Rev. William H. Edwards III of the First Presbyterian Church of Smithtown officiating. Interment was in Smithtown Cemetery.

Smithtown News, abt. 23 Apr 1997.

Robert C. Noble

     Robert C. Noble of Smithtown, a combat officer [a sergeant, actually] during World War II, died May 19. He was 89.

     Mr. Noble served and saw combat in Africa during WWII and continued to serve in the U.S. Army until he retired in 1961.

     Mr. Noble is survived by his son Robert Noble Chapman of Anniston, AL; a grandfson Robert Noble Chapman, jr. of Andros, Bahamas; a grand-daughter Nannatte Fecel; and a great grandson Dillon Jovan Fecel of Exumas, Bahamas.

Johnson's Indy 500 page: www.geocities.com/johnsonindy500/indy500/indyofficials.html

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Officials:
YearSpeedway PresidentSanctionChief StewartPace Car DriverStarterHonorary Referee
1911Carl FisherAAAC.W. SedwickCarl FisherFred WagnerR.P. Hooper
1912Carl FisherAAAC.W. SedwickCarl FisherFred WagnerR.P. Hooper
1913Carl FisherAAAC.W. SedwickCarl FisherCharles RootLaurence Enos
1914Carl FisherAAAC.W. SedwickCarl FisherThomas HayJohn A. Wilson
1915Carl FisherAAAC.W. SedwickCarl FisherThomas HayA. R. Pardington

A Day at the Beach: www.thegaffer.com

William K Vanderbilt - A Day At The Beach


On January 27, 1904, at the head of a six-mile stretch of beach between Ormand and Daytona, Florida, William K. Vanderbilt stood atop his giant aluminum Mercedes, surrounded by several AAA officials and members of his entourage. Sitting beside him was W. Gould Brokaw, the Renault owner whose car had prevailed in a private challenge with Bernard Shanely over a $500 silver cup earlier in the day.[1] Brokaw sat in the seat for a riding mechanician, more than a foot lower than the perch for the driver. The 2,000 pound, four cylinder, 90 horsepower Mercedes[2] was one of the most powerful cars in the world, but its German designer had envisioned it to be a road racing machine, and by necessity, the driver sat high[3] to peer over the huge engine and radiator. Brokaw had ridden with his friend Willie K the previous day, and timed him in a measured mile at 39 seconds[4]. For the sake of speed, Willie K intended to travel the mile alone today. The day was clear, but cool for Florida. All the men wore flannel overcoats, and many had gloves. Vanderbilt could feel a strong breeze to his back, and he smiled to think of the opportunity that lay before him.[5] An unpredictable wind could make for a harrowing experience, as the big cars would jump about enough on their own at top speed, but to be caught broadside by a gust could prove deadly. A strong head wind could make his car seem anchored to the course, but the wind to his back was worth as much as a second. A triple-A official explained that in a few moments they would start the car, and Mr. Vanderbilt would be free to accelerate to the starting tape two miles away, by which time he would be at full speed for a flying start.

     At the starting tape, Referee Art Pardington explained the regulations[6] for this form of timing, even though the eight men involved were familiar with the procedures, including the newspaperman Al Reeves of The Automobile.

     “Gentleman, Masseurs Thompson, Adams, Reeves, McGuinness and Leighton will time from the starting tape. At the conclusion of these instructions, I have directed Masseurs Batchelder, Smith and Hall to depart to the finish line,” Pardington said. “Before they do, however, each of you will start your watches simultaneously. It is very important that each man strike his watch in absolute synchronicity with all the others, or this very important record will be rendered invalid. Is that clear?”

     The men, huddled together, all dressed in overcoats[7] as long as their pant legs, nodded and grunted in the affirmative.

     “Good. Shortly after our timers are at their stations, the contestant will be instructed to start his motorcar and proceed. When he reaches the starting tape, the timers stationed at that point will stop their watches. At the instant he completes his measured mile run, the timers stationed at the finish line will stop their watches. We will record the average time among the timers at each location, then subtract the time at the starting tape from the time at the finish line and that calculation will produce a time that I will review for certification. Is that clear?”

     Again, the timers confirmed their understanding.

     “Very well then, gather closely to me, and with absolute concentration, study your watches and listen carefully to my instruction. At the count of three, at the instant I say three, you are to start your watch. Is that clear?”

     Another nod, and more grunts.

     Pardington counted off the numbers, and the men dutifully struck their timing devices. He then lumbered into a touring car with a chauffer, and starter A.J. Pickard, and they were off in the direction of Vanderbilt and his Mercedes.

     When they arrived, they found Vanderbilt perched in his seat behind the wheel of his monster machine. Maurice Bernin, Mr. Brokaw’s chauffer, stood on call at the crank of the Mercedes. The conditions were perfect, but Vanderbilt was anxious about the coming tide and wanted to be done with it. He looked down the beach and saw miles of perfectly straight speedway narrowing at the tide’s tedious advance. At low tide, the width of the billiard-table smooth surface between the lapping waves on one side and the loose sand on the right was well beyond 100 feet[8]. The ocean’s onslaught had narrowed the distance to little more than half that. Willie K turned his nervous energy to his goggles, which he found capable of attracting an opaque film of salt every few minutes.

     Pardington pointed to Bernin and nodded. Within three cranks, the engine made speech within the immediate area useless. Pardington and Vanderbilt didn’t need to talk. The referee turned to starter Pickard and nodded. Pickard held the red flag down at his side, preventing its unfurling with his thumb and index finger. He stared intently into Vanderbilt’s eyes, and planted his feet in the loose sand just beyond the tide limit. Within an instant, and with flourish, Pickard swirled the flag, tracing a spectacular figure eight design in the air.

     Vanderbilt’s rear tires sprayed a giant rooster tail of sand to the sky, and then gripped the hard surface to sprint away. The combination of the threshing engine and the clanking, grinding chain drive was deafening.

     It was nearly two minutes before the Mercedes reached the starting tape, and as it came into view, the timers tensed with their sense of responsibility. The car roared across the line, and without exception, each man captured the time. It was approaching noon, and a crowd of nearly three thousand had gathered with lunches on dunes safely distant from the course. Word had spread quickly that Willie K was on a record-breaking rampage.

     Down the beach, the big German car soared, quickly disappearing from view in a cloud of sand and smoke. The cars that ran earlier seemed tame by comparison, and clearly less demanding of the racecourse. Vanderbilt pushed as forcefully as he could on the throttle, and if his hands squeezed any harder on the wheel, the polished Oak would mold to his grip. Willie K wasn’t breathing, his mouth was dry and his throat was so tense it closed. The giant car’s wheels occasionally bounced, and left unattended, would have turned in unpredictable directions.

     With less than half the distance to go, the car lifted, and Vanderbilt felt an instant of helpless panic as first the front tires bounced above the sand for a fraction of a second, only to land just as the rear tires did the same. An anomaly of the current had created a “washboard” on the running surface. Vanderbilt, too, was lifted up out of his seat, and subsequently, only briefly, let up on the gas. He then punched the pedal back down, producing the slightest fishtail in his progress. He never lost his grip on the wheel. In fact, he pressed so hard his knuckles should have burst through his skin. His instinct to keep the wheel straight was the perfect reaction, whether it was produced through an emotion of terror or experience. In truth, Willie K didn’t have time to be too terrified. The car ploughed through the air at such speed he was at the brink of control and literally could not think of anything else.

     When the Mercedes passed under the tape, no one could state with certainty that the record was achieved. The timing committee was to report to Referee Pardington at the Ormand Inn, where they publicly recorded the individual watch times and made their calculations of averages and subtraction[9]. Willie K had continued down the beach, screaming at the top of his lungs. His voice was lost to the steady combustion of his engine and the vastness of the Atlantic. His head took a panoramic sweep of the beach and the jungle that bordered it, and then out to the limitless horizon of ocean. He screamed again, and swerved his great racer in an arc to backtrack its own tire marks.

     The Florida East Coast Automobile Association[10] closed the course for the day, judging the rising tide unsafe for continued contests.[11] The second heat of a race between two other Mercedes, both 60 horsepower cars, was postponed to the following day. That seemed irrelevant to the moment, as Willie K came back into view of the officials and spectators.

     Several men ran along side him shouting congratulations, and some told him he had the new world’s record, even though there had been no official announcement. Vanderbilt came to the finish line and pulled his car to a stop, shutting down the engine. Gould Brokaw was there, and pushed his way in front of others to hop into the mechanician’s seat. He extended his right hand to shake Vanderbilt’s and gripped the millionaire’s elbow with his left, tugging at him to bring him closer.

     “Bring on the professionals!” Brokaw shouted.

     Over and over again, groups of men crowded around his race car and asked the same questions of how it felt to go over ninety miles an hour.

     “Whatever the time is, I feel that a faster time yet is possible,” Vanderbilt said. “I swerved once to avoid a wave, but struck it and got a shower. At times I bounced some, clearing the track, I should say, about two feet high. In traveling 135 feet a second, a man does not estimate at the time how far the car leaps.[12]”

     A photographer had taken a several pictures at a distance, and then approached Willie K about a posed shot. At first, Vanderbilt refused any special pose, but the photographer continued to press. He was a young man, no more than 18, with cherubic-like cheeks and a boyish countenance that would be retained to some degree until the day he died decades later. Brokaw whispered something in Vanderbilt’s ear, and they laughed as they studied the boy.

     “Well, I really do not want to, but I will tell you what I am willing to do,” said Willie K. “I will leave it to the toss of a coin. If it is heads, I pose; but if it is tails, I don’t.”[13]

     The photographer assented to the sportsman’s proposition. Brokaw flipped the coin, and the crowd that had gathered at the scene fell quiet.

     “Say cheese, Mr. Vanderbilt,” Brokaw announced with a laugh.

     Vanderbilt feigned a frown, and then said, “Go ahead, then, quickly.”

     Expecting that the photographer would record the picture from a distance, Vanderbilt was surprised when the young man shouted for one of the women in the crowd to loan him the blanket she had used to sit on the beach. The photographer folded it to extra thickness and draped it over the cowling of the Mercedes, much in the fashion of saddling a horse. Vanderbilt studied the boy as he, with great agility, scrambled atop his car and straddled it.

     “You are quite trusting, my good man. Do you not know I could start this beast and shake you off like an insect?” Willie K challenged.

     “I will have my picture and be gone from you before your chauffeur can turn the crank,” the young photographer said, catching Vanderbilt in a candid smile. As he took the picture, cheers erupted and there was applause.

     As the minutes passed, the intensity of chatter among the thousands of onlookers was palpable. Clearly news was spreading. Within minutes, Pardington’s borrowed touring car appeared, and the big man extricated himself from its tight fit. The right side of the car sagged as the Referee shifted his massive weight onto a running board. Carefully, he balanced there until one his feet was planted in the sand. With a broad smile and the look of joy reserved for a reprieved man, he walked to Vanderbilt, who was now standing with Brokaw at the side of his car.

     “Mr. Vanderbilt, it gives me great pleasure to officially announce that on this date, on the sands of Ormand Beach, USA, you have earned the right to call yourself the speed champion of the world.”

     Pardington was interrupted by loud and spontaneous applause.

     “With an official time of 39 seconds on the measured mile, as recognized by the American Automobile Association, the Automobile Club of America, and the Florida East Coast Automobile Association, I crown you, William Kissam Vanderbilt the second, the world mile speed champion and fastest man on mother Earth.”

     Pardington leaned in closer to Willie K and directed his words to the young man’s ears only. “Faster than any Frenchman, or any professional, and done in a proper motorcar, not some wagon monstrosity.”

     Their eyes met, and they nodded. Pardington felt at liberty to put his hand on the young millionaire’s shoulder and give it a squeeze.

By Mark G. Dill

[1] “The Automobile,” page 161, February 6, 1904, “Story of the Florida Tournament.”
[2] “Motor Age,” page 38, January 21, 1904, “Brisk Competition at Florida Tournament.”
[3] Racing on the Rim, Dick Punnett, page 22, Tomoka Press, Ormand Beach, FL, 1997.
[4] “The Automobile,” page 153, January 30, 1904, “Vanderbilt Drives a Mile in 39 Seconds.”
[5] “Motor Age,” page 3, January 28, 1904, “Reduced to 39 Seconds.”
[6] “The Automobile,” page 161, Feburary 6, 1904, “Story of the Florida Tournament.”
[7] “The Automobile,” page 160, Feburary 6, 1904, “Story of the Florida Tournament.”
[8] “The Automobile,” page 159, Feburary 6, 1904, “Story of the Florida Tournament.”
[9] “Horseless Age,” page 141, February 3, 1904, “The Florida Race Meet.”
[10] Racing on the Rim, Dick Punnett, page 22, Tomoka Press, Ormand Beach, FL, 1997.
[11] “The Automobile,” page 162, Feburary 6, 1904, “Story of the Florida Tournament.”
[12] “Horseless Age,” page 141, February 3, 1904, “The Florida Race Meet.”
[13] “The Automobile,” page 201, Feburary 13, 1904, “Personality of the World Record Holder.”