Fred Wagner's Career Move

Fred Wagner was the recognized premier auto race starter of America in the sport's early days. Wagner was the first starter of the Indianapolis 500 and returned the following year only to engage in an argument with Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Carl Fisher - and to be dis-invited from playing the role in future "500's." Wagner was the starter of choice for all the early major auto races in the United States. With the exception of the inaugural in 1904, Wagner started every Vanderbilt Cup race conducted on Long Island. The role of the starter in those days not only involved displaying flags for starting, finishing and warnings during the contest, it was more of a director of operations role. Unlike today, there were no ear pieces connecting the "flag man" to race control through a communications system. The starter needed to make the judgments to provide order to the races.
Wagner was a character and penned his autobiography, "Saga of the Roaring Road," found elsewhere on First Super Speedway. As a memoir the book has its flawed recollections and outright exaggerations. Nonetheless Wagner is a wonderful personality among the pioneers of racing. These two articles are very brief items, both noting that in the autumn of 1908 Wagner apparently established an advertising agency with a partner. There is not a lot of detail provided, but Wagner was familiar with media and wrote a column for the New York Times at one point in his career. Attachment Wagner092708 provides the most detail of the two, such as the name of the company - Wagner-Field Company - and his partner, Russell Field who was the automobile editor of the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper. Attachment WagnerAndEarRolls101108 is a very small mention to the same development and I have placed a note beside it for easier reference.

Wagner092708.pdf234.44 KB
WagnerAndEarRolls101108.pdf170.39 KB