because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Alice Huyler Ramsey

Nine months after the first Model T Ford rolled off the assembly line, while women were still being told that driving cars would be too much for them, Alice Huyler Ramsey, a 22-year-old wife and mother from Hackensack, New Jersey, loaded up three other women in a green Maxwell 30 and set out to drive across the United States. Fifty-nine days and 3,800 miles later (only 152 of which had been paved), Ramsey cruised into San Francisco to tell the tale to crowds of delighted well-wishers.

On the journey, Ramsey (who was the only driver in the car) changed eleven tires, cleaned the spark plugs, and repaired a broken brake pedal. And those weren't the only inconveniences. There was a killer loose in Nebraska, bedbugs in Wyoming, angry Native Americans in Nevada, and at least one night when they had to sleep in the car because it got stuck in the mud. But Ramsey -- in true in-your-face woman fashion -- not only didn't crack, she made the trip more than thirty times from 1909 to 1975 (when she was 89!). Interviewed by Ms Magazine after her last trip, Ramsey said simply, "Good driving has nothing to do with sex. It's all above the collar." Duh!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interesting article on Alice Ramsey! She really did something extraordinary in her time, when automobiles were anything else but reliable. And this also holds for roads - if there were any :) Because of the 104th anniversary we have also provided an acknowledgement for her cross country roadtrip in our daily 'History of Science, Technology, and Arts' Blog at