Jul 13 2017

A Tour of Long Island Roads During the 1909 One-Gallon Efficiency Test

As a follow-up to last weekend's Mystery Foto, here are additional images of the winning #1 Franklin during the One-Gallon Efficiency Test held on May 7, 1909 in conjunction with the Second New York Automobile Carnival. The images provide excellent documentation of Long Island roads in 1909.

All photos courtesy of the Detroit Public Library.


Howard Kroplick

The Course

The Starting Point

The Automobile Club of America on West 54th Street in Manhattan

The Franklin team

Long Island Roads

In fron of the Hicksvill-Masspaequa Road Motor Parkway Bridge

Photo was possibly taken after the Franklin travvelled 35.8 miles on one gallon of gas.


Jul 13 2017 Greg O. 9:12 PM

It’s too bad we don’t know exact locations on the roads, but just imagining any one of those photos along any of the known roads on the course is still pretty incredible! The bridge that the Franklin is travelling over (water?)...I wonder where that could be?

Jul 13 2017 Steve Lucas 9:57 PM

Fantastic photos. Too bad none of the locations are identified. What a “before & after” series that would be.

Jul 13 2017 Brian D McCarthy 10:41 PM

Almost 36 miles on a gallon of gas. That’s impressive. I’ve been viewing images of all these Reliability, Economy, and Efficiency Contests on the DPL site. All the auto manufacturers wanted to put their vehicles to the test. Interesting and fun time in automotive history.

Jul 16 2017 LMK 8:23 AM

Enjoyed these photos….

Jul 16 2017 Roger Price 2:59 PM

Thanks for those fantastic shots of the Franklin in motion.  Considering the era, the photography is great.

Jul 16 2017 Dave Russo 9:27 PM

Completely agree Steve.

Would love to know where these locations are and do “then and now” at these locations.

Jul 17 2017 Michael LaBarbera 9:19 AM

A “then and now” for those pictures would be fantastic. Anything left unknown would make a great mystery photo.

Jul 19 2017 Brian D McCarthy 2:11 PM

Great as these images are, it’s rare that a road,street name etc. is within the image’s description on the Detroit site. Being that some of the image’s here display the NEGATIVE NUMBER, I looked them up via ADVANCED SEARCH. Under FIELD, choose “Negative Number (full word). Type in the image’s negative#, then click search. It’ll pop up. If you type in….Tours-New York-Economy Contest-1909 using regular search, a whole lot more image’s spring up. You could narrow the search by choosing….National Automotive History Collection (Dept), then Lazarnick (Collection). !00 pages at a time is my limit with the Detroit site. Anymore than that I’m falling asleep in the swivel chair.

Jul 19 2017 Tom 7:25 PM

Mesmerizing group of pictures, makes you look closely for details.

Leave a Comment