Atlanta Auto Show Part 1

Part 1

Atlanta Auto Show

Atlanta was the talk of the young automotive world when it became the host city for the Atlanta National Automobile Show on November 6 - 13, 1909 at the newly erected Auditorium-Armory in the Downtown area.

This was the first time that this Atlanta Auto Show had been exhibited in the Southeastern states. It was an annual attraction at New York's Madison Square Garden from 1900 to 1912.

The 1909 Atlanta National Automobile Show was under the auspices of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (NAAM) in New York. This organization met with Atlanta representatives during May of that same year to finalize the deal.

Atlanta's Auto Show Committee was spearheaded by Asa G. Candler, founder of the Coca-Cola Company, who recognized that the automobile industry was here to stay. Candler was also the President of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the chief organizer of the Atlanta Automobile Association. He appointed his son, Asa G. Candler, Jr., as the first president of this association.

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A space draw for the show took place on September 8, 1909 in the New York offices of the NAAM.
The New York Times reported: "In the last few days there has been a rush of applications from automobile and accessory makers throughout the country, who see in the Southern exhibition an opportunity of participating in the increased trade in motor cars that is evidence among the Southern states."

According to newspaper sources, there were 67 motor car makers that applied for space at the show. Among these were Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Packard, Stoddard-Dayton, Maxwell, Pierce-Arrow, Franklin, Peerless Brush, Pennsylvania, Hudson, Stearns, Elmore, Marman, Woods, Apperson, Overland, Austin, Reo, Locomobile, White, Mora, F.A.L., Waverly, Black and Rapid.

The Times also reported that the diagrams that had been issued showed 64,000 square feet available for exhibition purposes.

The newspaper was also very complimentary of the Atlanta exhibition site, stating, "The new Auditorium-Armory, which is owned by the City of Atlanta, is an excellent building for exhibition purposes, while the date of the show is just at a time when money is free in the South as a result of the cotton crop which, this year, in the State of Georgia alone, is estimated at 2,000,000 bales, at an average price of $60 a bale."

Set up for the Atlanta event was no easy task, according to the October 24, 1909 New York Times, which reported, "Decorators are already at work in the Auditorium-Armory, and are preparing a decorative scheme which will provide a proper setting for the handsome and luxurious 1910 models.

Carpenters are busy tearing down partitions to make additional room for the exhibitors. Practically every square foot of floor space has been disposed of, and Atlanta is assured of one of the most successful shows ever held in this country."

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Opening Day at the Atlanta Auto Show at Auditorium-Armory was a major local and national event, since it was the first show exhibiting the 1910 lineup of new vehicles. Addresses of welcome to the vast crowd of visitors and exhibitors were made by Mayor Robert Foster Maddox and Asa G. Candler.

The Atlanta Journal reported that evening, "Every detail was complete for the reception of the thousands who filled the big building this afternoon and evening, swarming through the aisles and exhibits.

The Atlanta Auto Show exhibits have been artistically arranged in the great Auditorium-Armory, and the effect on the eye as one enters is most striking. There is every indication that the exhibits will be seen by record crowds, as not only Georgia, but the South seems to be auto crazy."

The newspaper also stated that the show had a major economical impact, reporting, "...Atlanta is fairly alive with motor car enthusiasts and sleeping accommodations are at a premium. The corridors of the hotels are literal beehives and many happy reunions are being held in nearly every room of the local hostelries.

Makers who have not seen each other for months can be seen in groups talking over the past, present and future of the industry. They are all unanimous that the future of the business in Atlanta and the South is a bright one, and many cars will be sold here during 1910."Retrieve from online on 10/18/2011. A nice place for some car talk is at The Custom Car Mall Forum.

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