1917 St. Louis Auto Show

1917 Buick Touring Sedan at the Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska.

What fun it must have been to attend those early automobile shows, so full of pomp and circumstance and a staggering variety of automobile brands.  I recently discovered a story about the Tenth Annual St. Louis Automobile Show which took place in 1917 and encompassed six floors of the Overland Building at Locust and 23rd.  The decorating scheme was plants, vines and flowers, with each floor having a different motif such as palm trees on one floor and peach blossoms on another.  One night of the show fell on Washington’s birthday, so all of the exhibitors and their salesmen were appearing in full evening dress, American flags were added to the decorations, and an orchestra was present to play patriotic songs.  It was estimated that 10,000 people dressed up and stepped out to attend the festivities. Can you picture it?

The first floor of the show was reserved for a truck display.  Here is the list of cars that were displayed on the other five floors.  How many do you recognize?

1917 Locomobile at the Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska.

1917 Dodge Touring at Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska.

One brand that stood out to me was the Ben-Hur, possibly because my husband has watched the movie by the same name at least a hundred times.  More on the Ben-Hur automobile next time!