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Tent Sales: What 90 Years of Change Looks Like

Pictured below are Reed Brothers tent sales 90 years apart, in 1918 and 2008. The black and white photograph below was taken by Lewis Reed in 1918 showing Rockville Garage displaying their new models at the Rockville Fair Grounds. The annual County Fair used to be held for four days in the month of August at the old Fairgrounds of Rockville, Maryland. Families came from every section of the Montgomery County in wagons and carriages, and stayed for the duration of the Fair. The Fair gave automobile dealers the opportunity to display their new models.

1918 – Rockville Garage displaying their new models at the Rockville Fair Grounds

1918 Rockville Garage tent displaying Hudson Super Six, Oldsmobile, and Dodge Brothers Motor Cars at the Rockville Fair Grounds

The color photo below was taken some 90 years later in 2008, “Let’s Refuel America!” Tent Promo at Reed Brothers Dodge that let consumers lock in gas prices at $2.99 for three years. The novel Chrysler incentive offer was introduced at a time when high gas prices hammered sales of SUVs and trucks that dominated Chrysler’s line-up and was a way to help move the 2008 model gas guzzlers off the lot.

Tent Promo at Reed Brothers Dodge

2008 Tent Promo at Reed Brothers Dodge

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Circa 1920s: Rockville Fairground Ferris Wheel

Rockville Fair Ground Old Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel at Rockville Fairground, circa 1920s. Photo by Lewis Reed

Forget Valentine’s, Happy Ferris Wheel Day!

Did you know that February 14th is not only Valentine’s Day, but also Ferris Wheel Day? This unofficial national holiday is held on this day to honor the birth of the inventor of the Ferris Wheel, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. What better way to celebrate Ferris Wheel Day than enjoying this old photograph of the Ferris Wheel taken at the Rockville Fairgrounds, courtesy of Lewis Reed. The fairgrounds were just outside Rockville, about where Richard Montgomery High School is today. The Fair lasted four days, from August 21st to the 24th, and drew visitors from local counties, Washington, and Baltimore.

For the singles and the “enough already with the Valentines”, here is your perfect alternative excuse. Go wish all your friends and family a Happy Ferris Wheel Day!

1920s Auto Races, Rockville Fair

1920s race car

This race car is a total mystery…what on earth is it? It appears to be a two-man race car. Photo by Lewis Reed

Early action shots like these are rare, however, the following photographs were taken by Lewis Reed at the Rockville Fairgrounds in the early 1910-1920s. The fairgrounds were just outside Rockville, about where Richard Montgomery High School is today. The Fair lasted four days, from August 21st to the 24th, and drew visitors from local counties, Washington, and Baltimore.

1920s Race Track

Dirt track action. Photo by Lewis Reed

auto races at rockville fair

August 1923. Auto race, Rockville Fair

August 25, 1923. Montgomery County, Maryland. "Auto races, Rockville Fair."

Crowds at the auto racetrack, Rockville Fair, August 1923

The photo above depicts an auto race at the Rockville fairgrounds. The photo of a harness race below was taken from approximately the same vantage point, which you don’t see very often in pictures from that era. Fairground race tracks, typically one-mile or half-mile dirt racing ovals with wide sweeping curves and grandstands for spectators, were easily adapted for the new sport of automobile racing.

Harness race rockville fair

Harness race at the Rockville fairgrounds, circa 1910. Same vantage point as auto race above. Photo by Lewis Reed

Below is a 1923 Washington Post ad for auto race at the Rockville Fair.

1923 auto races at Rockville Fair

Sources: Dirt Track Auto Racing, 1919-1941 – A Pictorial History By Don Radbruch

Shorpy.com – a vintage photo blog of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s

 

Flashback: Reed Brothers Baseball Team, circa 1920

Most likely, Rockville’s first experience with baseball was during the Civil War on the fields where Richard Montgomery High School now stands. It was known as “Camp Lincoln” because of the Union encampment there, and Federal soldiers helped popularize the new game they brought from the North. After the Civil War those fields – known as the Rockville Fairgrounds – continued to be a popular place for baseball.

Reed Brothers Dodge had a company baseball team that played on those same fields. The photos below were taken by Lewis Reed on a field at the Rockville Fairgrounds circa early 1920s.

1920s company softball team

Reed Brothers Dodge Baseball Team, circa early 1920s. Photo by Lewis Reed

1920s company softball team

Reed Brothers Dodge Baseball Team, circa early 1920s. Photo by Lewis Reed

1920s company softball team

Pat Murray (Parts Dept Manager), keeping score. Photo by Lewis Reed

Reed Brothers Baseball Team

Reed Brothers Baseball Team on field at Rockville Fairgrounds, circa early 1920s. Photo by Lewis Reed

 

1918: Rockville Garage Displaying New Cars at Rockville Fair Grounds

An annual County Fair used to be held for four days in the month of August at the old Fairgrounds of Rockville, Maryland. Families came from every section of the Montgomery County in wagons and carriages, and stayed for the duration of the Fair. Harness racing was one of the main attractions, but the Fair also provided other events such as horse pulls, games of chance, showing of prized livestock and poultry, needlework, homegrown produce, baked and canned goods. A building called the Exhibit House displayed the prize-winning entries of the various categories.

The Fair also gave automobile dealers the opportunity to display their new models. Below is new car show time as fair-goers get their first glimpse at the latest models that Rockville Garage had to offer. Initially, Reed Brothers sold Oldsmobile and Hudson, along with Dodge.

Rockville Fair

1918 – Hudson Super Six, Oldsmobile, and Dodge Brothers Motor Cars on display. Lewis Reed in drivers seat.

1918 Rocvkille Fair Grounds

1918 – Rockville Garage displaying their new models at the Rockville Fair Grounds

Rockville Fairgrounds

Anybody for a demonstration drive?

Rockville Fairgrounds

1918 – At Your Service Rockville Garage

Source: History PDF

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