Friday, June 29, 2012

From Bicycle to Automobile

An earlier post addressed New Orleans architect Rathbone De Buys' 1921 proposed Canal Street parking skyscraper. Five years earlier, Gustav Stickley's journal The Craftsman featured a review of the American Architect's publication, Garages, Country and Suburban, a series of ... articles on the structural features of the private garage and its equipment, the care of the car, the safe handling of gasolene and topics of interest to the owner and driver (New York, 1911).

The Craftsman extensively quoted the book:

"The coming of the automobile has introduced a new phase into the architect's daily work. The smart, shining, highly developed machine, quick, accurate and efficient, full of the very essence of modernity, with its irrepressible and confident chauffeur, seems to require more 'chic' accommodations, than did even the smartest horses and vehicles of the last generation. The age of the automobile is the age of cement, of high efficiency electric lighting and of the banishment of germs and crevices which harbor them. The garage must be modern, light, shining and not only clean, but free from any possibility of harboring dirt in any form. So, though the architect may still affect the homely and reliable bicycle as his own personal mode of locomotion, he enthusiastically approves the change in habits of clients which make necessary the designing and providing of a new type of building."

The reviewer seems to have been especially drawn to those garages that were portable, functioned equally as garden trellises and/or chauffeur's lodging, and one that served the purposes of the aviator as well as the motorist:

"The combination garage and hangar floor foretells the future form of this new, almost indispensable adjunct of the country house, for man must soon mount to the skies as well as skim the surfaces of the earth."

The airplane pictured above looks like the Bristol Box Kite, invented seven years after the Wright flyer, and used by the Royal Naval Air Service (U.K.), the Royal Romanian Air Force, and the Australian Flying Corps.

For aviation history buffs, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) manages an aircraft museum  that includes a replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer and holds its popular annual airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin every July.

Images above: "Book Reviews." The Craftsman XXIX: 4 (January 1916): pp. 440-443.

1 comment:

Garage said...

That only proves how humans comes a long way. We innovate and invent. Thanks a lot for the good read.