Trenton Entourage Motors Around the World in 1909

Posted on Jun 15, 2013

Ferry Crossing in Ceylon

Ferry Crossing in Ceylon

June 15 – September 22, 2013

Sponsored by AAA Mid-Atlantic
Rebecca Urban discusses exhibit using her grandfather’s photographs
Trent House, June 30, 2:00 p.m.
Ellarslie, September 8, 2:00 pm

Over a century ago, four individuals, one dog, and a car left Trenton to begin an historic drive around the world by automobile.  Harriet White Fisher, owner of Fisher & Norris Anvils on Fair Street, purchased a 1909 Locomobile and financed the entire thirteen months journey.  Mrs. Fisher was accompanied by her chauffeur/personal secretary Harold Brooks, her maid, butler and a Boston Bull Terrier named Honk-Honk.

Tent at Place Vendome, France

Tent at Place Vendome, France

The exhibit follows this unique journey by motorcar from Trenton to Europe, Africa, India, China, Japan and finally from San Francisco back to Trenton.

Harriet White Fisher was a successful businesswoman in Trenton in the early 1900’s.  It was rare for a woman to run a business in the United States back then, and even rarer for a woman to run a manufacturing business.  She had inherited the business, called Eagle Anvil Works or Fisher & Norris, from her husband who had died in 1902.  The company was very successful and supplied all sizes of anvils to companies throughout the world.

In 1909 Harriet White Fisher decided to travel around the world by the relatively new invention called the motorcar.  She bought a touring car called the Locomobile, among the best cars of its day.

River crossing at Thana, India

River Crossing at Thana, India

Many of the countries through which they motored, including the United States, did not have good roads or bridges for automobiles, and they had some harrowing experiences.  In some cases, roads and bridges had to be built for them to enable them to proceed.

The exhibit shows the route of the trip and describes the preparations for the trip.  There are displays about Harriet’s life, Harold’s life, the Locomobile, the people they met, and more.  Rare artifacts and photos from the trip are on display.

After the trip Harriet White Fisher wrote a book entitled “A Woman’s World Tour in an Automobile,” published in 1911.  It is a fascinating book.

Rebecca Urban, a retired teacher from Reynolds Middle School in Hamilton Township, is the guest curator of the exhibit.  She is the granddaughter of Harold Brooks, the chauffeur and personal secretary, and inherited along with 12 other grandchildren the artifacts, photos, diaries and other memorabilia from this unique trip, most of which will be on display.

Kobe, Japan

Kobe, Japan

Rebecca Urban will give a talk about the exhibit using her grandfather’s photographs as well as his description of the trip which he recorded on audiotape, on Sunday, June 30, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Trent House.

Palace Hotel, San Francisco

Palace Hotel, San Francisco

Tonopah, Nevada

Tonopah, Nevada