A.G. Batchelder Explains the AAA

The attached article first appeared in the April 4, 1910 Indianapolis Star. It reports on the Indianapolis visit of A.G. Batchelder, Chairman of the American Automobile Association (AAA) and his remarks at the Flat Tire Club rooms prior to a banquet at the Denison Hotel to close that year's Indianapolis Auto Show. Batchelder apparently criticized Indiana for lagging in its efforts in the good roads movement. Among the Indiana Auto Club leaders at the time were H.O. Smith and F.I. Willis.
The article is useful in that it explains the primary functions of the national organization, the state-level clubs as well as their composition across the country and membership. Batchelder is quoted liberally.
"The State Association, made up of clubs and individual motorists, is the unit of representation and activity. Each club nominates a director to the national body; such directors choose the officers and executive committee, and suggest the members of the legislative, touring, good road and contest boards. Through the state associations the work of the national body in the state is carried forward. The committee of the state association have in charge the same subjects as those of the national body, and co-operate to attain the same ends."
This explained the national structure to some degree and the process of assigning governance. The following helps to explain their responsibilities, primarily as a government lobbying force:
"The state associations are centers of activity representative of their states, making possible: Unity of effort both for and against motor legislation, shows of force at legislative hearings, personal touch with legislators in all parts of the state, a treasury which can be drawn upon to meet necessary traveling, printing and legal expenses, solidarity of influence and work at all times."
Finally, an excerpt from Batchelder's remarks provides both early AAA history and its national structure/membership as of 1910:
"The AAA is the national organization of motor car users. It was organized in 1902 and has a membership of more than 30,000 subdivided into thirty-four state associations, comprised of 250 clubs, a score of unfederated clubs and hundreds of individual members. Its main objects are: To unite in one body all the automobile clubs and individual motorsists of the country to secure reasonable and just legislation; to aid in proper enforcement of automobile laws and ordinances; to advocate and obtain local, state and Federal aid in the construction and maintenance of good roads, and to encourage and support sportsman-like contests and other movements that will advance motoring interests."

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