Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rare Vintage Photographs of President Warren G. Harding Auto-Camping With the "Vagabonds" in 1921

One summer weekend in 1921, President Warren G. Harding went car camping. He rode out to western Maryland, where a fleet of cars awaited: under a soaring white tent, the president dined in the wilderness with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and the other “Vagabonds,” who had spent every summer since 1914 exploring the country in a caravan of cars. Each year, their set-up grew more elaborate: in 1919, their camping trip required 50 cars, including one specially built to keep their food refrigerated.

They camped at a site about six miles east of Hancock in Washington County. The 200-acre farm where they made camp was located about one mile north of the National Turnpike along Licking Creek. Today, the campsite lies inside Camp Harding County Park. A plaque memorializes the gathering of these famous campers.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Warren Harding, Harvy Firestone and group near cabin, Firestone camp.

Thomas Edison, Warren Harding and others seated at table.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Warren Harding and Harvey Firestone near cabin.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Warren Harding, Harvey Firestone, and others.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Warren Harding, Harvey Firestone, and others.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Warren Harding and Harvey Firestone.

Thomas Edison, Warren Harding, and others. Dinner at Firestone camp.

Thomas Edison, Warren Harding, Henry Ford, and others.

Harding at Firestone camp.

Harding at Firestone camp.

Harding in camp.

Harding in camp.

Harding in camp.

Harding at Firestone camp.

Harding at Ford camp.

(Images: Library of Congress)

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