Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Supper: Diner Placemat Beats the Odds

Almost fifty years old, this paper placemat has yet to see a maple syrup stain. Tape, yes, food, no. Click pic to see in detail.

C O L L E C T I O N — A thin paper diner placemat from the sixties has survived the ravages of time relatively unscathed. I can remember seeing it for the first time, at some small diner my parents stopped at on a summer vacation. I can't imagine not spilling anything at all at the age of 7 or 8, so I can only assume my father got a couple fresh ones when we left, always ready to foster the love of cars in me even more, lol. I remember him quizzing me off of this placemat, since I was by that age, already pretty well-versed in old cars. I was stopped in my tracks by the red 1903 Ford. A) I didn't realize there was a Ford before the Model T, and, B) I didn't know there was a Model A before the '28 Model A. I remember thinking that automotive history wasn't going to be easy," lol.

The cars, clockwise from "1:00" (top right). Text from captions on placemat:

• Yellow 1913 Chevrolet. Second year of Chevrolet production. Produced 2,999 cars in initial year, all of same model. $2,150.00

• Red 1908 Stanley Steamer. A popular and powerful early car. One of 124 makes of steam cars made in the U.S. 20 hp. $1,500.00

• Green 1910 Cadillac. Won famous Dewer trophy in England for its precision manufacturing. 

• Blue 1911 Ford Model T. 15 million were produced over a 19 year period. Prices ranged from $850 in 1909, to a low of $290 in 1924.

• Green 1912 Woods Electric. Clean, odorless and silent. 100 miles to one charge. Top speed 100 m.p.h. $3,000.00.
NOTE: "Wow. These stats are fine 100 years later, if they're true. I can't imagine the boxy 'telephone booth' bodystyle as pictured, ever reaching 100mph. The brakes of the time would have had a hard time coping also, lol. The 100 mile range is also interesting for 1912—current electric cars are in the same ballpark."—casey

• Red 1903 Ford Model A. One of first assembly line cars, 2 cylinder. 8 hp. Cranked on side. 2 speeds forward, 1 reverse. $750.00

• Gold 1908 Locomobile. Won 4th Vanderbilt Cup race. First American car to outclass foreign entries. 120 hp.

• Green 1909 Thomas Town Car. Highly regarded luxury car. Winner of famed New York-to-Paris race, via Siberia.

• Red 1908 Buick "Model 10" Rumble. Featured mother-in-law seat in rear. 4 cylinder. $900.00

• Blue 1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash. America's first mass-produced car. Used steering tiller. 700 lbs. $650.00

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