In August 1937 a Safety Parade was
held in downtown Brevard. The feature
attraction was a driverless car. The
“magic” car was actually piloted by remote control by Capt. J.J. Lynch, who was
riding in a second car several feet behind.
|Close inspection of this photograph shows Capt. Lynch with a remote control in the second car.
A line runs from the control to the driverless car leading the parade.
The driverless car followed all
traffic laws, made left and right turns and U-turns, while driving through the
downtown area. The car also sounded its
horn when necessary for safety. Local businesses and organizations entered
vehicles and floats decorated with safety banners in the parade. The state highway motorcycle patrolmen, the
Brevard Fire Department and Brevard Boy Scouts participated as well.
Participants lined up west of City
Hall on Main St., proceeded to the Courthouse, turned right onto Broad St. and
left onto Jordan St. as they circled the block.
They then returned down Main St., passed the Courthouse to City Hall.
At the end of the parade was a
wrecker pulling a smashed car and an ambulance.
The main object of the parade was to show that the automobile itself is
safe when properly handled. Safe driving and traffic rules were stressed.
While a driverless car may not seem extraordinary
in today’s high-tech world, the remote controlled car travelling through the
streets of town in 1937 drew a large crowd.
Photographs and information for this column are provided
by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library
hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional
photographs. For more information,
comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected] or 828-884-3151 X242.