‘Desideratum’ of the Horseless Age

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From The Horseless Age, New York, December 1895

“AS A DESIDERATUM in modern locomotion, speed is of ever-growing importance. The pressure of the age demands it, and in response to that demand, steam cars and street cars now travel at rates of speed unkown a few years ago. Everywhere and in every line of effort, economy is the cry, and it is all for the easier attainment of human objects, and hence for the general amelioration of mankind.

“But when we come to consider the motor vehicle in its present state of development, the element of speeds sinks into relative unimportance. Other considerations, such as simplicity, economy of operation, ease of control, etc., are entitled to much greater weight. A motor vehicle may attain great speed, and yet be practically worthless for the ordinary purposes of everyday use.

“At some future day, when roads are universally good and motor vehicles are no longer a novelty; when people are accustomed to managing them and taking them into account as a factor of danger in street life, high rates of speed will be permissible, where road conditions are favorable; but for the present it is neither necessary nor desirable. Legal measures, limiting the speed of motor vehicles, are as much needed as measures regulating the speed of bicycles and horse-drawn conveyances, and for the same reason, namely, the public safety.”

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1 Comment

Filed under Motor Vehicles, Technology

One response to “‘Desideratum’ of the Horseless Age

  1. Pingback: The Ingenious Charles H. Barrows and his Electric Tricycle | The Lost Annals of Transport

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