Friday, January 8, 2010

In 1951, James Melton's cars appeared in a children's book A Song for Arabella, by Marguerite Leslie (illustrations by Lumen Martin Winter).  The book was inspired by an 1899 Locomobile at the Melton Museum.  Although the car, named Arabella, is imaginary, there was a an actual steam car that performed the feats described in the book-climbing a steep chute at county fairs, and ascending the Capitol steps in Lansing, Michigan.

In August of 1901, Charles Yont and W.B. Felker completed the first automobile trip to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado in an 1899 Locomobile. Climbing 14,110 feet was quite a feat for this little car.

Marguerite Leslie was the nom de plume of Marguerite Kilmarx. She and her husband, Leslie, were friends of my parents in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Lumen Martin Winter (1908-1982) was a well known muralist. (One of his murals "Titans" is at United Nations Headquarters in NYC.) He also designed the medallion for the Apollo 13 space flight.

You can find a used copy of A Song for Arabella on for anywhere from $1.00 to $25.00.

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