Alright folks, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride through a slice of American history that you probably haven't given much thought to. We've got a fascinating tale on our hands, brought to you by none other than Jeff Guinn, and narrated by the one and only Josh Hamilton. Now, before we dive in, let's break it down for you.
Picture this: It's 1914 and the legendary Henry Ford and the renowned naturalist John Burroughs decide to pay a visit to none other than Thomas Edison down in sunny Florida. But this ain't your ordinary visit, my friends. Nope, these guys decided to embark on an epic adventure through the Everglades. Talk about a summer road trip for the books!
Well, hold on tight because things are about to get even more interesting. The very next year, Ford, Edison, and even tire maker Harvey Firestone come together and decide to create something epic. They call themselves the Vagabonds, because that's exactly what they are - a group of wandering souls seeking new experiences. And guess what? They don't just stop at one road trip. Oh no, they continue exploring the open road every single summer until 1925.
Now, you might be thinking, "Why were these guys hitting the road? Were they just on a never-ending vacation or what?" Well, my curious listeners, there's more to it than meets the eye. Sure, they had an entourage of chefs, butlers, and the like, because who doesn't want a little luxury? But deep down, they had a serious purpose. You see, back in those days, cars were about as reliable as a broken promise, and the state of the roads was even worse. So, our Vagabonds were out there not only enjoying themselves but also trying to figure out how they could make automobile travel more practical for everyone.
Now, let me tell you something else. These road trips didn't just fly under the radar. Oh no, newspapers couldn't get enough of these adventures. The media coverage was extensive. And guess what happened? As cars improved and the roads got better, the idea of a summer road trip quickly became a must-have experience in American life. Isn't that something?
But hold on folks, because there's more. This story isn't just about cars and roads. It's about the intricate relationship between two of the greatest minds of their time: Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. You see, before Ford became a household name, he actually worked for the famous inventor himself. These road trips, believe it or not, transformed not only the American landscape but also the American economy and our way of life. Ford's reputation soared while Edison's slowly dwindled.
And that, my friends, is where the magic lies. Jeff Guinn brings this pivotal moment in history to vivid life, painting a portrait of America's growing love affair with the automobile. So, if you're ready for a journey through history that's filled with adventure, intrigue, and a whole lot of horsepower, jump on board because "The Vagabonds" audiobook is about to take you for a wild ride. Oh, and by the way, it's rated 2.5 out of 5 and has a runtime of 9 hours and 35 minutes. So, buckle up and get ready to listen.