It all began in February of 1914. Thomas Edison arrived in Fort Myers, Florida, for his annual escape from the cold of New Jersey with not only his wife and children, but naturalist John Burroughs and Henry Ford, and Ford’s wife and son. Ford and Burroughs had great plans to explore the Everglades, never mind that there were alligators and snakes. Some guides and a gun should be sufficient. But everyone wanted to come too – Ford and Edison’s sons, then the women decided to come. They all set off in three Fords and two Cadillacs, and soon ran out of road. But early autos were tough and they plowed on. Unfortunately, a storm in the night blew over the tents, everyone was soaked. The next day they tried to dry out, but it was no use, and the expedition returned to Fort Myers. The next year, Edison was still wanting to take a car trip, and so were Ford and Burroughs. Harvey Firestone joined the group and they named themselves the Vagabonds. On August 28, 1916 they began their first trip, and they continued taking annual trips until 1925. This was a very entertaining book, full of anecdotes about these four very famous men and background stories to bring the reader into the nineteen twenties. As one who runs to pack a bag when someone says “road trip” I knew I would love this book. I wasn’t wrong. And so, I highly recommend it.
eGalley review Publication date 7.9.19
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