May 25 - Souvenir Edition

Those of us familiar with Indianapolis Star newspaper coverage of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race know the annual "souvenir edition" has been providing a wealth of insights and images concerning events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for decades. Much of the edition is focused, too, on prognostications about the liklihood of success for any given competitor. While the May 25, 1913 Indianapolis Star's special 16-page section on the upcoming Indianapolis 500 was not called a souvenir section that is essentially what it was. The way-cool cover page is in attachment IMSStar052513.
To get started on this delicious assemblage of auto racing history let me try to unpack it in an orderly fashion. First, let's start with images. These are always tough because this is a digital capture of microfilm of a 100-year old newspaper. Many times the original paper's quality was sub-par and a lot of the time, especially when the article or image I have captured is at a corner of the page, the focus is uneven. Nonetheless I find the images interesting and I hope you do as well. Here's a list of the attachments with appropriate comments.

The first article (attachment Sec12StarBios052513)  I want to share is a biographical overview of some of the key drivers in the starting field. They are listed below. In the cases of :

In some cases the biographical content in this article is superior to anything else that can be found on the Web. This is especially true with the Endicott brothers, Bob Burman, Gil Anderson and Louis Disbrow.
Another category of content from this souvenir section is what I call, "Prognostications." These are a few articles where experts speculated on the outcome of the races. I list the attachments containing such articles below:

  • Sec3Entries052513 does, as it implies contain an entry list of cars and drivers but the main piece is an article written by Joe Dawson, who won the race the previous year but did not have a ride for the 1913 "500." In this article Dawson takes a sarcastic tone when discussing the predictions of those who have never driven a race car. There is also a small item that adds a sense of color by talking about how the Peugeot drivers were learning English. It also reports that Jules Goux intended to go to an Indianapolis Indians baseball game.
  • Sec6Star052513 contains an an article written by Homer McKee (this guy was a big deal in advertising and gave Leo Burnett his big break in the profession), the sales and advertising director of the Cole Motor Car Company. McKee discounts the liklihood of a European victory despite the practice speeds of the Peugeots. He points to the Indianapolis-based Stutz team as the pre-race favorite.
  • Sec8StarKnipper052513 provides an article that is essentially an interview with "Prince Billy" Knipper, driver of the Henderson race car. Knipper's predictions concern the liklihood of a new speed record for the race which he believed were almost certain despite the new rules that reduced engine capacity from 600 cubic inches to 450.
  • SecGuyotStar052513 is a brief article by Albert Guyot who also predicts speed records and notes that his American hosts were most gracious and kind.

Another category I think helps organize this content is "proving ground and history." These attachments contain articles that tout the importance of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in developing the automobile.

  • IMSSection2Star052513i offers a very interesting bit of information in its report that Bob Burman's Keeton was outfitted with a Miller Carburator which is almost certainly a product developed by the legendary Harry Miller who 10 years hence would produce the cars that would dominate the Speedway and board tracks across the country.
  • Sec7StarHenderson052513 also contains a bit of very interesting information in the context of describing a display of its new product line, showcasing its models at the downtown Claypool Hotel. The bit of interesting information is that the company was offering a kerosene carburator designed by 1911 Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun.
  • Section1Star052513 has an article written by National's General Manager George Dickson who recounts the six-year history of the Speedway, its contributions with a summary of all the races conducted through 1912.
  • IMSSection2Star052513 - the article here is the best of the bunch in terms of explaining the significance of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the automobile industry of the early 20th Century.

The next category I call "absent champions, National & Marmon." The first two automobile companies to win the Indianapolis 500, Marmon (1911) and National (1912) both withdrew from the sport following their greatest victories. National sounded defensive about the decision all month as it came up in the press. Despite their withdrawal they continued to run impressive advertisements boasting of their prowess on the Brickyard.

I also thought a category that spotlights articles on the large scale appeal of the race was important. In 1913 the Indianapolis 500 had clearly established itself as the most important race in the United States and the rival to the more established French Grand Prix on a worldwide scale.

  • Sec9StarCrowd052513 discusses the various countries around the globe with large blocks of ticket purchasers coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the great race. In particular the Alliance Francaise is noted for inserting itself to help visitors from France.
  • Sec11StarAAA052513 reveals the AAA tourism department's suggestions for the best automobile roads to drive to the Speedway from various regions around the United States.
  • SecPits052513 offers an interesting analysis of the cost of time involved with a pit stop. In today's racing commentary commentators discuss the "in lap" and the "out lap." Again, George Dickinson of National Motor Vehicle Company discussed this aspect of racing and how the process of slowing to a stop at a pit and then accelerating out to the track must be considered as well as the time spent executing the pit stop must be considered in factoring time lost.

These final articles I just group together more as miscellaneous. Useful information though, especially the list of officials and press management.

  • SecPressStands052513 discusses the considerations in serving the press and photographers covering the Indianapolis 500 - as well as the people responsible for the task, such as P.P. Willis.
  • Sec11StarIMSofficials052513 is a handy piece that spells out the names of Speedway and AAA officials with their respective roles.
  • Sec8StarNyberg052513 contains a brief article on Harry Endicott and his Nyberg race car. It also has an image, a portrait-style shot of E.H. Delling designer of the Deltal racer. Delling was struggling to get the car completed in time to get it to the Speedway before race day.
IMSStar052513.pdf254.97 KB
Sec3StarKnipper052513.pdf500.3 KB
Sec5StarCheck052513.pdf251.38 KB
Sec5StarPeugeot052513.pdf650.2 KB
Sec7StarBurman052513.pdf506.51 KB
Sec7StarMulford052513.pdf153.21 KB
Sec7StarWall052513.pdf1.09 MB
Sec8StarNational052513.pdf644.44 KB
Sec8StarPennebaker052513.pdf190.04 KB
Sec8StarWilcox052513.pdf204.56 KB
Sec9StarClark051525.pdf162.31 KB
Sec9StarIsotta052513.pdf707.15 KB
Sec9StarMason052513.pdf788.64 KB
Sec10StarItalian052513.pdf187.9 KB
Sec10StarMercer052513.pdf148.16 KB
Sec11StarPeugeot052513.pdf644.62 KB
Sec11StutzStar052513.pdf190.71 KB
Sec12StarDrivers052513.pdf276.37 KB
Section2StarPilette052513.pdf720.3 KB
GuyotSection1Star052513.pdf638.18 KB
SecCaseDrivers052513.pdf292.29 KB
SecEnglishStar052513.pdf396.68 KB
SecGouxStar052513.pdf308.58 KB
SecHarrounStar052513.pdf526.6 KB
SecIsottaStar052513.pdf315.21 KB
SecStarJenkins052513.pdf291.46 KB
SecMapStar052513.pdf256.05 KB
Sec12StarBios052513.pdf4.93 MB
Sec3Entries052513.pdf261.17 KB
Sec6Star052513.pdf907.44 KB
Sec8StarKnipper052513.pdf866.75 KB
SecGuyotStar052513.pdf470.37 KB
IMSSection2Star052513.pdf602.38 KB
Section1Star052513.pdf386.87 KB
IMSSection2Star052513i.pdf150.51 KB
Sec7StarHenderson052513.pdf135.56 KB
Sec7StarMarmon052513.pdf545.73 KB
Section2MarmonStar052513.pdf213.02 KB
Section1StarAd052513.pdf225.41 KB
Sec9StarCrowd052513.pdf608.06 KB
Sec11StarAAA052513.pdf293.09 KB
SecPits052513.pdf906.78 KB
SecPressStand052513.pdf320.36 KB
Sec11StarIMSofficials052513.pdf113.57 KB
Sec8StarNyberg052513.pdf371.15 KB
SecZucharelliStar052513.pdf255.35 KB