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This is episode one of Vox Almanac’s new season all about roads — and this is a classic road trip to kick it off with.
Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs became famous as “the Vagabonds” — a traveling group that took to the (primitive) roads to see the country and make the occasional business deal. Their exploits captured the imagination of the entire country, and it even involved a few naps.
Along the way, the unique foursome chopped trees, explored, and ate in style (while catering to the film crew they brought with them). The resulting output was a mix of PR and good old-fashioned fun. Even President Warren G. Harding joined along at one point just to see what the Vagabonds were up to.
Check out Potato Jet! https://ufl.ae/profile/KSDZu8kGxC2W4zZVHMyC89Mw
In Under the Maples, naturalist John Burroughs discusses his philosophy (and a few of his camping exploits). http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30246
R.J.H. DeLoach wrote the most indispensable memoir of life with “The Vagabonds.” You can read it free once you log in. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41398265.pdf
Finally, if you just want to check out raw videos of the group, The Henry Ford puts them on their YouTube channel. https://ufl.ae/videow/S0pATYi_rMi
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