Horatio's Drive


Horatio's Drive (2003) tells the story of Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson's 1903 cross-country drive. On a whim and a fifty-dollar bet, Jackson set off from San Francisco in a 20-horsepower Winton touring car, hoping to become the first person to traverse the United States in the newfangled "horseless carriage."

  • Horatio's Drive | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

    Explore images highlighting the cross-country drive of Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, the first person to drive across the United States in a motor vehicle, or “horseless carriage,” as it was known in 1903. When Jackson embarked on his adventure there were only 150 miles of paved roads in the United States. As a result, planning and preparation for the trip were necessary for success. Jackson's trusty bulldog, Bud, and a co-driver named Sewall K. Crocker joined him on the journey. Jackson named his automobile "The Vermont," after the state in which he lived. View images of Jackson's car, a map of the trip, Jackson himself, and Sewall Crocker.

    Grades: 6-12

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