May 5 - Language Barrier

As the Indianapolis Motor Speedway prepared for the 1913 Indianapolis 500 much was made of the international character of the race. In particular the Peugeot and Isotta companies entered "works" teams. The drivers for Peugeot - Jules Goux and Paul Zuccarelli - were European based where as the two Isotta pilots - Teddy Tetzlaff and Harry Grant - were American residents. However those that accompanied the cars were for the most part French or Italian.
This article from the May 5, 1913 Indianapolis News discusses the challenges the Speedway faced in being the best hosts possible for their guests. A great aspect of this article is that it mentions some of the early senior staff at the Speedway: T.E. "Pop" Myers (before he was given the "Pop" nickname) who was identified as holding the title of "auditor" of the track, Captain Carpenter, who led the track's guard force and Press Agent Paul Martin. The Speedway later in the month announced they had acquired the services of an interpreter. International participation was extremely important to Speedway leadership to establish the "500" as the world's greatest race and this article is a reflection of their concern over making sure overseas competitors had a great experience.
Finally notice the small item, "Attire," on the last page where Ralph De Palma is flagged for making a fashion statement with yellow pigskin shoes and matching briefcase.

NewsForeignDrivers050513.pdf2.99 MB