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First Day of Issue
October 25, 2002
New York, New York 10199
While a road trip is no big deal to most adults, teenagers and college age kids see it as a rite of passage. As hard as it is to imagine, there really was a time when American’s did not have an automobile or two sitting in their driveway. Yes, we have always had some mode of transportation, but it generally included a working animal of some sort. Of course there was the steam powered automobile back in the 1700s, but a petro or gasoline powered machine wasn’t invented until the late 1800s. By the turn of the century, electrically powered automobiles were appearing, but in small numbers until the 21st century. The Winton Motor Carriage Company, a pioneer in the auto industry, was one of the first American companies to sell a motor car. Meanwhile back in Vermont, Horatio Nelson Jackson was busy earning his medical degree at the University of Vermont. Graduating in 1893, he practiced for a few years in the towns of Brattleboro and Burlington. About six years later he married Bertha Wells, the daughter of one of the richest men in Vermont and the newlyweds enjoyed a life of travel and adventure. Horatio was a young auto enthusiast who believed that the automobile was more than a fad or recreational toy, but not everyone felt that way. At a gathering of his peers, Horatio defended the automobile when it was suggested that it couldn’t survive a trip from San Francisco to New York in less than 90 days. When a $50 wager said, “I bet you can’t do it” that was all the incentive Horatio needed. Previous cross country trips had ended in failure and it was assumed that this one would succumb to the same fate. To make things even more interesting, Horatio didn’t own a car and had little driving experience. And in 1903, American roads were extremely primitive with fewer than 150 miles of pavement nationwide. There were no road signs, road numbers, nor gas stations. Horatio recruited Sewall Crocker, a 22 year old former bicycle racer and gasoline mechanic to accompany him. Next, based on Sewall’s recommendation, Horatio purchased a slightly used 20-horsepower Winton touring car for the journey.
Read the article in its entirety in the April 2015
Bevil newsletter, which accompanies the cover.
Take a trip
Is there a Walt Disney movie showcasing this spectacular true-to-life event? If not, there should be. This is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Herby The Love Bug, and Homeward Bound, all wrapped up in one great story. The doctor and his bicycle mechanic companion, a dog named Bud, and this car, which the doc was so taken with, he named "Vermont", all on a journey that no one believed they could make. This truly is a great story, and one worth capturing on a Bevil first day cover. A Doc, a bicycle mechanic, and dog named Bud, and a car named Vermont. Would someone pass the popcorn.
I greatly enjoy utilizing the silhouettes at the bottom of the covers. I'm waiting to grow tired of them, saying "Okay, that's enough. Try a little harder and reach for another formula." But it works, and as long it feels good, I'll continue to reach for it. The strength of the silhouette is, it tells another part of the story. It's like having two camera shots, from two angles in one scene.