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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
April 19, 1914

Big Increase in Illinois, for Example, Indicates Good Business.

"Never in the history of the motor car industry has it been so absolutely demonstrated that the automobile is a tool of civilization as during the past few months," said W. H. Van Dervoort, head of a large motor company, last week.  "Pessimistic talk has been rife for the past six months.  If there has really been a money stringency, it has not hit the motor car industry; at least not those manufacturers who are making honest cars at honest prices.

"My statements are based on official figures issued by various Secretaries of State relative to new records for motor car registrations.  Take, for instance, the State of Illinois.  During a period from Jan. 15 to March 25, 51,000 registrations have been made.  This, mind you, is the worst buying season of the year.  With 51,000 cars already registered, and the buying season only just begun, it is evident that registration records in Illinois will be shattered by many more thousands.

"During 1913 there were 37,000 registrations in Illinois, against 22,000 in 1912.  There has already been a gain of 14,000 over 1913 for the same period, and an increase over 1912 of 29,000.  Not only is this true of Illinois, but other States show a big increase in motor car buying.  I regret I have not at hand the total increase of registrations throughout the country, as these figures would put to rout any pessimistic theories."

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