Vanderbilt Family

America's burgeoning middle class of the early 20th Century were fascinated by the lives - and especially the antics - of what they called "Society" or the people of tremendous wealth, usually inherited. Many of these families were in the Northeastern United States.

William K. Vanderbilt Jr. was a man of many talents and interests. The founder of America's first major auto race, the William K. Vanderbilt Jr. Cup International Race, was a race car driver, railroad executive, yachtsman and much more. Included in his long list of interests were horses.

This article is an interesting insight to the clash of cultures that had real ramifications for motorsport during its formative years of the 20th Century. This manifested itself in opposing views of which form of motorsport (oval vs. road racing) should be practiced. The Northeasterns supported road racing and most of the Middle West and further on utilized dirt horse tracks.

This article was published in the August 19 edition of the Indianapolis Star and focuses on men of social standing - including then Unites States President Theodore Roosevelt - on how they prefered to spend their vacations. This, the article posits, tells something about the individual although after reading it exactly what it tells is unclear.

This is a pair of odd items focusing on an odd incident - the October 1906 evening Mrs. Reginald (Reggie) Vanderbilt refused to remove her hat while at the Colonial Theatre in Boston.

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt clippings. For information on his much publicized divorce check out information elsewhere on First Super Speedway. More to follow.

It seems the concept of the pre-nup was alive and well in the heydays of the Vanderbilt family. In these two Indianapolis Star articles January 21 and 26 1908 the financial conditions of the wedding between Miss Gladys Vanderbilt and Count Laszio Szechenyi are discussed.

The article in attachment VanderbiltDivorce040208 published in the Indianapolis Star on April 24, 1908, reports on the pending divorce of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt and his wife Ellen French.

This article, published in the March 7, 1909 Indianapolis Star reports on how William K. Vanderbilt was supporting a team of architects seeking the approval of the Building Commission of the Municipal Council of Paris to make exceptions to their building codes in order to allow an American-style structure to be erected.

This article originally appeared in the August 15, 1909 Indianapolis Star but is for the most part a re-print of a book review from the July issue of the trade publication "Touring." The article was written by Harry Caldwell who provides a scathing review of the book, "Log of my Motor," by William Kissam Vanderbilt Jr. who would later become known as