Thursday, November 13, 2014

Early Car Camping

Early automobile tourists frequently slept in or near their vehicles. In the late teens and early twenties, such travelers were encouraged to set up camp in the Crescent City's municipal parks and along its levees. Both City Park and Audubon Park operated short-lived no-fee auto camps.

Norwegian-American pathfinder Anthon L. Westgard published a guide to car camping for the American Automobile Association in 1920. The guide, Official AAA Manual of Motor Car Camping, featured various advertisements for newly invented products, such as the A.B.C. Sleeper and the Stoll Auto Bed (shown above).

Westgard provided advice regarding setting up camp, travelers' attire and how to properly stock first aid kits. His guide featured recipes for making biscuits, cornmeal mush, squirrel and rabbit. His "Health Hints Worth Heeding" also included the following travelers' remedies:

For Lockjaw. --Warm a small quantity of spirits of turpentine and pound into the wound, and bathe backbone with cayenne pepper and water, or mustard and water (vinegar is even better than water). Use as hot as the sufferer can stand it.

To Remove Cinder or Sand from the Eye.--One or two grains of flaxseed placed in the eye. All campers should carry a few of these seeds. Or drop castor oil in the eye freely. Do not rub the sore eye--rub the other eye.

Images above:  A.L. Westgard. Official AAA Manual of Motor Car Camping. Washington, D.C. and New York: A.L. Westgard, 1920. Courtesy University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries.

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