Merz at Giant's Despair 1909

This image was pulished in the June 13, 1909 Indianapolis Star - a full two weeks after the May 31 event it depicts occurred.  However the paper was the Sunday edition which at the time presented a section on automobiling and was less time sensitive with its news reporting. The newspaper was also a big advocate for the city's homegrown auto industry which boasted the second largest car-producing manufacturing power in the nation with Detroit number one.
The photo concerned the Indianapolis-based National Motor Vehicle Company's entry into the Giant's Despair Hill Climb, sometimes referred to as the Wilkes-Barre Hill Climb which is a nod to the nearby city in Pennsylvania. The drivers entered by the manufacturer were future Indianapolis 500 veterans Charlie Merz and Johnny Aitken. Merz is the driver in this image. The caption that ran with the photo when it was originally published follows below:
"C.C. Merz driving an Indianapolis made automobile, the National, up the steep Giants Despair hill in Pennsylvania during the recent races. He is now emerging out of the Devils Elbow Turn, one of the most difficult pieces of steering ever performed successfully."
Check out an article elsewhere on First Super Speedway for more detail. Also you can check out the program cover for the event. Please keep in mind that hill climbs were a major branch of motorsport in these times.
If we are to believe advertising Fisher Automobile Company ran an ad in the June 1, 1909 Indianapolis Star touting the National team's brilliant successes, which, it says, included a class victory in the $3,000 or more six-cylinder stock cars. The overall winner that year was the great David Bruce-Brown who drove promoter Hugh Donald "Huge Deal" McIntosh's Benz to victory.

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