ca. 1920's
12.5 in HIGH x 7.5 in WIDE
(31.75 cm HIGH x 19.05 cm WIDE)
Gift of Robert Schultz

Gauntlets. Description: one pair men's heavy duty automobile gloves, black leather, flannel lined, heavy pigskin cuffs, Ripon brand. From the History Information Station: Object: Black leather driving gauntlets, or gloves. History: Driving an automobile in the early days was always an adventure. Because cars were not enclosed, mud splattered up from the unpaved roads, and dust covered the steering wheel with a layer of grit. When it rained, the water made the wheel slick and very hard to hold. The car, which was hard to control in the best of times, became even more unmanageable. To get and keep a good grip on the wheel, drivers wore leather gauntlets like these, even in good weather. The long cuffs kept the mud and rain away from the driver's hands and arms. Gift of Robert Schultz Love at first sight: California and the early automobile. Californians fell in love with the automobile almost at once. The Northern and Southern California Auto Clubs were both formed in 1900. Far from remaining mere curiosities, cars quickly became accepted here. After the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, the Overland Monthly applauded them, saying that "without the aid of the automobile, the damage and suffering would have been immeasurably increased." By 1910 eight percent of the cars registered in the nation were in California alone. The state Department of Engineering had begun to map a network of roads between the county seats and the large cities, and the first highway bonds were issued in that year. In 1912 the first paved roads appeared, and in 1915 the state issued its first driver's licenses. By 1920, at the end of the First World War, there were 600,000 cars in the state, waiting for the great oil finds at Signal Hill and Huntington Beach to "rev up" and get on the road!

Used: Ripon

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