Industrial Parade - 1910 Auto Show

The attachments below tell the story of the "industrial parade" of automobiles that took place in Indianapolis on April 1, 1910 as part of of the March 1910 Indianapolis Automobile Show. The first of the articles was originally published in the April 1, 1910 Indianapolis Star and previews the event. It is a follow-up to an interesting account of the previous day's about the floral parade that was one of the most anticipated features of the week.
This first article affirms that a second automobile parade for the week, focused on product and not decorations and was scheduled for that afternoon. In terms of numbers of cars the industrial parade was described as considerably larger than the floral parade, but no specific amount of entries is provided here. Those details come out in the second article analyzed later here.
The parade committee officers of the Indianapolis Automobile Trade Association (IATA) instructed the dealers as to what streets upon which they were to assemble, in what order and the route to be taken. The described plan was for them to be led by the Indianapolis Military Band. The officials had an event car they used to help organize the procession.
The article provides a parade route: From Fall Creek Boulevard and Meridian Street, south on Meridian to New York Street, west on New York to Senate Avenue to Washington Street, east on Washington to East Street, countermarch on Washington Street west to Pennsylvania Street, north on Pennsylvania to Massachusetts Avenue to New Jersey Street, north on New Jersey Street to North Street, west on North to Delaware Street to finish and disband.
The second attachment contains an article published in the April 2, 1910 Indianapolis Star and provides a good summary of the event. It is in this article we find that "more than 300 automobiles" participated in this second parade of the week. Also, the article confirms that the moniker, "industrial parade" was employed because it was a procession consisting exclusively of sales dealership inventory. Some interesting statistics are provided:

  • The 300 cars of the 1910 model year were estimated to have a total value of $600,000.
  • Doing the math, the article reports an average price of $2,000 per car.
  • The vehicles required a total of about 1,000 gallons of gasoline to complete the run.
  • The combined horsepower was estimated to be about 9,000.
  • There were a total of approximately 1,000 people riding in the cars.
  • Of the 300 cars 50 represented product manufactured in Indianapolis. A handful of others were built in other Hoosier cities, which should give you a sense of Indiana market share at the time.

The cars represented the various models available for sale in Indianapolis dealerships. All were detailed to what is described as a mirror finish with body parts glistening in the sunlight of a day that was reportedly blessed with outstanding weather. Every car boasted small pennants and a placard on the running board that identified the make and model. The price and dealer address was also provided. 
The parade did not come off without some hitches, mostly the result of daily traffic. Apparently this primarily occurred on Washington Street where the procession doubled back on itself in what the article refers to as "the countermarch." In addition to the complication of the parade getting in its own way the everyday traffic of street cars, horse-drawn drays, motor trucks and pedestrians forced a tedious stop-and-start, halting progression. The article also says the uniformity of the parade was ruined at this point of the course.
On the other hand the procession through residential streets, especially glorious Meridian Street was "a striking view." Here, according to the report, thousands of spectators gathered. The IATA parade committee consisted of some of the most influential men in the Indianapolis car business at the time: John D. Orman, J.F. Minthorne, F.M. Leary and Committee Chair E.R. Vincent. It was Vincent who gave the signal to the Indianapolis Military Band to start playing and begin the parade. The band rode in a large Packard truck. Check out this excerpt from the article about the start:
"a noise like the humming of a million bees rippled back through the various streets as the motors were put into motion. It took about one hour before the forming of the motorists were vacated. Hundreds of motorists toured to the northern part of the city to watch the fun of organizing the army of smoke wagons."
Note that F.I. Willis is identified as the IATA president in the article. He was commended for his team's successful week. 
The Indiana Motorcycle Club, as they had assisted the floral parade, lent a hand with this one as well. The Star's report on their contributions here was far less glowing than the assessment provided concerning the decorative event. As noted, the procession ground to a halt at times and even broke apart due to traffic disruptions. Some of the blame for this failing was assigned to the bikers as apparently they allowed too much of a gap between the cars at times, allowing others to invade the space. Here are the manufacturers noted in the article as taking part:

SecondParade040110.pdf178.91 KB
AutoParade040210.pdf891.87 KB