100 years ago
Clark County residents were able to see the movie “The Story of an Automobile” on May 6, 1923. Produced under the direction of the U. S. Department of Commerce, the film chronicled the manufacture of an automobile at the “new $20,000,000 Studebaker plant at South Bend, Ind.” (that would amount to about $357.2 million today). From the forging of “red hot steel” into axle shafts to molten metal “cast into intricate designs,” the story was presented in an “intensely interesting manner,” showing the many operations of constructing an automobile.
75 years ago
A proposal to expand mail delivery to “approximately 200 rural patrons” to twice-a-day service was announced on May 3, 1948. The pitch depended on “whether the patrons can work out a street labeling and house numbering plan with the planning commission,” and if that idea would be “accepted by the post-office department.”
50 years ago
Vancouver’s Ernie Stierly competed with his 1969 Chevelle Super Stock in the ELSCAN Super Stock championship race on May 6, 1973. Held at Portland International Raceway, Stierly revved his engine against other hot-rodders, including Hersh McGriff, Harry Jefferson and Jack Jeffries. The “24 fastest cars will move into the championship 100 lap feature race.” It is unclear who won the early May race, but, a month later, Stierly went to compete again in the Rainier Championship series.
25 years ago
The Columbian highlighted “human-powered” commuters in a May 5, 1998, feature. With a focus on rollerbladers, bikers and even runners who eschewed cars for their daily travel to work, the alternative commuting enthusiasts underscored some of the benefits, including saving money and limiting pollution. However, many did note the drawback of cycling or walking on a wet and windy day: “ ‘When you first start out it’s miserable, cold and wet.’ But (Grant Laske) says within 10 minutes, his body adapts to the condition, and he rides easily in a ‘sort of trance.’ ”
Katie Bush is public historian at the Clark County Historical Museum