Field Trip: 1908 New York to Paris Automobile Race
Teachers can bring their students to the Museum for a field trip to view primary sources in the special exhibit: 1908 New York to Paris Automobile Race, Featuring the Winning Car, 1907 Thomas Flyer. The following lesson plans have been developed by Washoe County School District teachers to use in conjunction with the field trip.
Exhibit: The 1908 New York to Paris Automobile Race
This exhibit tells the story of the lone American entry, the 1907 Thomas Flyer – winner of the New York to Paris Automobile Race driven to victory by George Schuster.
On the morning of Wednesday, February 12, 1908, the skies were sunny and clear and the mercury near freezing, when 250,000 spectators thronged Times Square in New York City in a holiday mood. It was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and everyone was doubly excited to witness history in the making, the start of the world’s longest automobile race ever, to end in Paris, France. The race was sponsored by two newspapers, the New York Times and Le Matin in Paris.
The racers were embarking on a 22,000-mile odyssey around the world. The route was formidable, traveling through the wildest stretches of the world’s uncharted realms. It crossed the United States from New York to San Francisco in winter, a feat never previously accomplished by automobile. It traversed the island of Japan, the first cars ever seen in the country, and slogged across Siberia, Manchuria, Russia, Germany and France and for the winning entry, victory was claimed after 169 days of fierce competition on July 30, 1908.