- Written by webmin
You know it’s summer in Vermont when the motorcycles start ripping by the Hemmings offices on their way to Lake George or Rhinebeck or Laconia or simply out for a ride. Looking through the photos of the Landscape Change Program at the University of Vermont, we see some things haven’t changed in 80-plus years.
We were intrigued by a couple batches of photos we recently came across in the program’s photo database, both appearing to depict road trips, and both with minimal information regarding the locations and dates of the photos or the people in them. One road trip seems to have been taken in the wintertime in a Ford Model T coupe, while the other took place in a warmer season astride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The more we looked at the photos, however, the more the two stories seemed to converge.
First, we confirmed that these weren’t just a bunch of random photos of different cars. After all, Model Ts were ubiquitous at the time; Harleys maybe not ubiquitous, but certainly not uncommon. Indeed, many of the details of the Model T – the canvas cover over the radiator, the placement and illegibility of the license plates, the chains, the condition of the car and the lack of any external aftermarket items – suggest that it is the same car. The Harley, which we believe to be a pre-1927 model, carries two license plates: 8 early on, then 319 later.
The giveaway that the road trips have something to do with each other is the same dog, sitting on the Harley’s seat in one shot and posing with a shot rabbit in another. Was the dog’s owner the roadtripper and also owner of both the Harley and the Model T? Were there two different roadtrippers who just happened to come across each other? And who had a bear on a chain in his front yard?
Many thanks to the Henry Sheldon Museum for the use of these photos.