This photo comes from the Harris & Ewing archives within The Library of Congress and was taken in Washington, D.C. in  1908. The individuals in this photo are the wife and daughter of Frank S. Bliven who worked for a local automobile agency called Cook & Stoddard. The fine automobile in this photo is a 1907 Franklin Model D Roadster.

  It has two seats, a folding top for inclement weather, but no windshield. If you look closely you can see the license plate number painted within the headlights. Several states required this on either the side lights or the headlights in order to make the number visible at night. Other interesting details are the early leather license plate and of course the crank to start the motor. Truth be told, I believe this was a staged photo and Mrs. Bliven was not going for a drive. She’s certainly not dressed for it. Even on fair days in 1908, almost all ladies in cars wore long dusters to protect their clothes and firmly pinned hats, veils to secure their hair and to prevent sun and wind burn as well as goggles to avoid being blinded by airborne debris.

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