100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

First Automobile Journey Across Canada

Ransom E Olds, the inventor of the Oldsmobile, sold the Oldsmobile Company in 1904. Olds felt he could build a better automobile and started the R E Olds Motor Car Company in 1905. To avoid lawsuits, he changed the name to REO Motor Car Company. In 1908 REO Motor Car Company was bought by General Motors.

In 1912 British travel writer Thomas Wilby convinced REO Motor Car of Canada to sponsor a automobile journey across Canada. He brought with him Jack Haney, one of the Reo Company’s young mechanics.

On August 27, 1912 Thomas Wilby and Jack Haney were setting out to become the first motorists to cross Canada. They backed the wheels of the REO Motor Car 5 passenger touring car into the waters off Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, scooped up a flaskful of Atlantic water and with the yell “All on board for Vancouver!” took off even though there is only 16 kilometres of paved road in the entire country.

Thomas Wilby sits at the wheel of the REO Motor Car 5 with it’s back tires in the Atlantic as Jack Haney scoops some ocean water at the beginning of their journey across Canada
August 27, 1912

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One thought on “First Automobile Journey Across Canada

  1. The subject of our feature film project “THE PATHFINDERS”, a light comedy-adventure “no road” movie. http://www.utopiapictures.com/PathfindersJuly08flyer.pdf

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