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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Harper Motor Co., R.H. Harper


Washington Times-Herald
December 31, 1922

Harper Company Receives Tramload of 350 Cars This Week.

"One inherent idea which has somewhat impeded the progress of the automotive industry," says R. H. Harper, local Durant dealer in four and six-cylinder models, "is that the automobile is a seasonal product."

"In the early days when the automobile was in the experimental stage there were some grounds for implying that a car was more or less a fair weather vehicle.  Then, the automobile could not stand up in any kind of weather, and its use was really seasonal.

"That era has passed.  Today the automobile is one of the vital factors in the life of any community.  The mechanical efficiency achieved by automotive engineers enables a car to brave the rigors of all kinds of weather and climate.  This achievement has encouraged public faith in the use of the motor car.

"The fact that the mid-winter demand for one make of automobile in one distributor's territory warrants the taking of 350 cars in a single shipment proves conclusively that the season is no longer considered in the purchase of a motor car.

"The solid trainload of sixty-one freight cars carrying 350 Durants just received here is, I believe, a record shipment for this section, and while I feel that this Durant record will stand for some time, I am convinced that automobile representatives will find it possible to take and dispose of larger shipments this winter than during any winter season known to the industry.

"Both in business, in the family and in social pleasures, the automobile is used the year round.  It is no longer regarded as a plaything or a luxury.  Instead, the business man and his family depend uponm the car to get them to work, in town and to the theater.

"In actual commercial work motor trucks are employed extensively, and have contributed their share to greater business production.

"The price of the automobile is no longer prohibitive.  The range of the automobile market today meets any man's finances.  The public has come to regard a car as a splendid investment, for the return in good service is worthwhile.  Aside from a financial investment, most men regard it as one of the necessaries of life, and consider the automobile salesman in the same category as the purveyer of food, raiment, shelter and heat.

"By completely meeting the many requirements of transportation the automobile itself has become an essential throughout the year."

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