Ramsey, her crew and her Maxwell
there were paved highways that laced the nation, gas pumps on every
corner, and "maintenance free" automobiles, there was a
woman named Alice Ramsey.
1909 Ramsey drove across the county some 3,800 miles from New York
to San Francisco -- long before many females even fathomed driving.
The trip entailed pushing the car through flooded and muddy dirt roads,
fixing a cracked distributor with chewing gum, and using bailing wire
from the roadside to keep the front wheels together. Alice's intrepid
spirit, along with all female influence on the automotive industry,
is examined in the newest special showing at the San Diego Automotive
Museum opening June 1, 2002.
and Wheels will run through September 22, featuring a 1911 Maxwell
(the same marque Alice drove), a 1907 Thomas Flyer touring car, a
1916 Saxon Roadster (depicting the automobile's key role in advancing
the suffrage movement), a 1957 Cadillac Biarritz (representative of
the glitzy 50s Motorama shows and cars as an accessory for women),
and many more.
exhibit provides an overview of women's myriad relationships with
the automobile including the farm trucks that first escorted farm
wives to (relative) freedom, and the early electric vehicles that
were appealing to women. Female roles behind the wheel during World
War I are also examined, as well as their roles in subsequent years
- whether working under the hood or posing atop it! Increasingly gaining
purchasing power and becoming a marketing target for automotive corporations,
the escalation of women becomes apparent --- and is another topic
up for study during this special exhibition combining displays, costumes,
photographs, vintage advertising art, and of course the unique and
varied automobiles that have influenced --or been influenced by --
the feminine consumer and driver.
The San Diego Automotive Museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm in
Balboa Park. Admission $7 for adults, $6 active military with ID and
seniors, $3 for kids 6 to 15 and children under 6 are free. For more
information, phone 619/231-AUTO or visit www.sdautomuseum.org