28, Mar 2023
The First Cross Country Road Trip: A Journey Across America with Vermont Touring Car

Here is the amazing tale of the first American cross country road trip. Watch the early explorers’ exploits as they set off on a voyage that will forever alter how humans travel.


A pivotal moment in American history that changed the way people travelled was the first cross-country car trip. Before the invention of the automobile, only trains and ships were available for long-distance travel, and both were sometimes expensive and time-consuming. But, the development of the vehicle allowed for faster and further travel than ever before.

A group of adventurers set out on what would eventually turn out to be America’s first cross country road trip excursion in 1903. In a brand-new Winton touring automobile, H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker led a group of men who were travelling across America. From San Francisco to New York City, they would travel more than 3,800 miles in just 63 days.

The First Cross Country Road Trip: A Journey Across America
H. Nelson Jackson is driving his Winton out in the West.
Special Collections at the University of Vermont is to be credited

The Journey’s Preparations

Jackson and Crocker had to get their vehicle ready for the long, gruelling travel ahead before setting out on their voyage. They planned their itinerary, gathered supplies, and modified their car over a period of several weeks. They made the following preparations, among others:
Since there were few roads at the time, Jackson and Crocker had to carefully plan their route and rely on maps and local knowledge to get around. They also prepared their car with extra tyres, a spare engine, and a tool kit in case they needed to make repairs along the way. Finally, they packed food, camping supplies, and clothing for the trip because there were few hotels or restaurants along their route.

The First Cross Country Road Trip: A Journey Across America
Pulling the car out
Courtesy of Peter Ramsey

The Start of the Trip

Jackson and Crocker left San Francisco on May 23, 1903, with the help of a bulldog they named Bud. They made good speed as they passed California and Nevada during the first few days of their expedition, which was largely uneventful. Nevertheless, once they approached Utah and met difficult terrain and erratic weather, things quickly became increasingly difficult.

Obstacles on the Way

Jackson and Crocker encountered a variety of obstacles on their journey across the nation that put their fortitude and creativity to the test. These are a few of the challenges they overcame:
They had to navigate perilous mountain passes in Colorado and deal with extreme weather conditions, including snow, hail, and rain. They also had to deal with mechanical issues, including a broken axle and a burned-out clutch, which required them to make repairs on the side of the road.

The culmination of the trip

The First Cross Country Road Trip: A Journey Across America
Winton touring car “Vermont,” 1903
Gift of H. Nelson Jackson

Jackson and Crocker ultimately arrived in New York City after 63 days of travel. They were welcomed as heroes by the public and the media when they arrived amid much excitement. Their expedition had sparked the interest of the American people and shown the promise of the car as a long-distance mode of transportation.

You may interest :

Why was the first road trip across the country significant?
A: The first cross country road trip signalled a shift in how people travelled because it showed the promise of the car as a long-distance mode of transportation.

Who was the first person to travel cross-country by car?
A: The first cross country road trip was headed by Sewall K. Crocker and H. Nelson Jackson.

How long was the initial cross-country drive?
The initial cross-country race

Source : wikipedia.org | Please dm for removals

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