Transcontinental United States: 1928-1929. This 11” x 7.5” album contains 88 pages packed with over 80 photographs (2.75” x 2”) plus postcards, Baker's original bill-of-sale, driver’s permits, tickets, original art, souvenir stickers, telegrams, and other ephemera. The album and contents are in very nice shape.
Baker, the grandson of artist-illustrator Peter Newell who funded the Newell collection at Yale University, purchased his Harley-Davidson motorcycle from the Koch-Ruhle dealership in the summer of 1928 and used it to travel cross-country to San Francisco via St. Louis, the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, San Diego, and Los Angeles. While in California, Baker toured National Parks, visited museums and tourist sights, and attended concerts. He eventually sold his motorcycle and booked passage on the S. S. Charles R. McCormick from San Francisco to return to New York.
Highlights include * The bill of sale showing Baker paid $252 for his motorcycle; * Baker’s New York motorcycle operator’s license; * Many photographs of Baker on the Harley; * Baker’s American Motorcycle Association membership card; * A pocket flap, presumable from a heavy shirt or light jacket worn on the journey; * A map of St. Louis prepared by the “49th State Touring Club” with Baker’s route from Eads Bridge to U.S. Highway 40 outlined in green; * Permits to operate the motorcycle in the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and General Grant National Parks; * Several colorful Shell Gasoline tourist stickers; * Bakers’ California Agriculture certificate and non-resident driver’s license; * An Automobile Club map of San Diego with Baker’s route through the city outlined in red; * Photographs on board the McCormick and an original watercolor of Baker’s cabin. Item #008630
Albums documenting cross-country automobile trips from the 1920s are scarce. Comprehensive photo-scrapbooks in excellent condition documenting 1920s transcontinental motorcycle trips from New York City to San Francisco with return by steamship are simply non-existent.