My Mother’s Scrapbook: Early Automobiles – (1904-1908)

“Autos must be hung up for all time…a $500 tax…we have no right to allow such a nuisance on PEI…only a foolish fad of millionaires and fools.” From a letter to The Guardian in early 1900s

The early days of automobiles in Prince Edward Island are full of humorous stories, although certainly not funny at the time. In the History and Stories of Clyde River, it appears automobiles were showing up in our community around the 1920s. However, cars did start arriving in PEI just after the turn of the century. This time gap indicates that the people of Clyde River like many other areas in PEI were death-against cars. It took a long time before car owners won their full right to the road. The following clipping offers a glimpse of how earlier residents of PEI and perhaps Clyde River may have indeed reacted.

The following excerpts come from a newspaper clipping from The Guardian on March 1, 1963. Across the Island was a column written by Neil A. Matheson, Provincial Farm Editor, which focused on earlier Island history. This day, he featured “The Early Troubles of Automobiles” from the early 1900s. (Hazel Beer’s scrapbook) 



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Note: Let us know if you find any other stories featuring the history of automobiles in your scrapbooks. Also, send along any photos of early automobiles from Clyde River. A few are featured in History and Stories of Clyde River, p. 147.

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  1. Emily Bryant on March 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

    My mother, Hazel Colwill (then Stewart), remembers when the first car drove on the Brackley Point Road. She was in school in Harrington and school was dismissed so that all the pupils could stand by the fence just next to the Brackley Point Road to watch this wonder pass by. Amazing that this is less than 100 yrs ago and we can’t imagine life without a vehicle.

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