The Thomas Flyer Auto Arrives in Norwalk – Setting a New Record


At five a.m. on a frigid Monday morning, one hundred-ten years ago today, a large (by 1907 standards) Thomas Flyer automobile, and its escort vehicle, chugged into Norwalk and stopped in front of the New St. Charles Hotel. A large white sign in the back of the Thomas Flyer proclaimed:


The exhausted occupants, bundled in heavy overcoats against the cold, stumbled into the hotel for a few hours sleep, leaving the engine of the Thomas Flyer running. At eight-thirty p.m. the day before, they had unexpectedly run out of gas just before reaching Cleveland, after breaking the world record for continuously running an automobile engine (as their sign proclaimed). Less than two hours later, the engine again roared to life, and the driver vowed not to let it die until it had again broken it’s own record.


thomas-motor-companyThe Thomas Motor Company had been in business since 1902, and following year was the largest manufacturer of air-cooled engines. In addition to automobiles, they produced motor cycles, and in 1905 their Auto-Tri model, a three wheeler, set a world record, crossing the United States in forty-eight days.

Now they had broken another record, this time with the automobile that on that frosty Monday morning sat idling on a street in Norwalk, Ohio. How many of the Norwalk Class of 1907 stopped on their way to school to admire this marvel of 1907 technology, I do not know. But I am sure it was more than a few.



“Breaking All World Records,” The Norwalk Daily Reflector, January 28, 1907, page 2, column 7.

“Two Autos on Record Run,” The Norwalk Evening Herald, January 28, 1907, page 1, column 4.



3 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on History Present and commented:
    Another cool post by Dave at Firelands


  2. […] 29, 1907, Mr. H.C. Young of Norwalk hitched a ride on the Thomas Flyer, which was the subject of my last post, he had a distinctly less than pleasant […]


  3. Since I like to hit the roads, this sounded very interesting.


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