January 18, 1910
"There was a sound of honking by night and bright the lights shone on fair women and brave men" -- slightly to modify a well-spouted quotation. All the "fuss" was over the opening in Convention hall last night of the automobile show given their this week under the auspices of the Motor Car Trade association and never was the debut of such an enterprise more signally successful.
Miracles of order had been wrought out of the chaos which prevailed in the big hall yesterday morning. By the time the doors were thrown open to the general public at 6 o'clock yesterday evening the hall had been transformed from a wilderness of glittering confusion into a most charming garden of exhibits, with trim paths winding in and but a green hedge dividing the big arena floor into two sections.
Overhead the "sky" was a beautiful canopy of blue and white bunting while the horizon was one of the most novel decorative effects ever seen at a Kansas City automobile show. It consisted of a huge panel running entirely around the hall and composed of heroic reproductions of Western paintings by the late Frederic Remington, a most tasteful and effective emphasis of the fact that this is a western event and that Kansas City is the "center, hub and core" of all the expanse of territory made famous by the gifted brush of the artist who "should have died hereafter."
"But the people! A, the people!" as another lamented American remarked. They were part of the show, and not the least interesting part. They came by the thousand and they swarmed, literally swarmed, all over the huge building, which seemed "cablined and confined" under the stress of their seemingly endless numbers.
Never were there such crowds at such a function in this city. If the spirits of the horses that were wont to attract other thousands of enthusiasts in days gone by were privileged to look down on that spectacle, they would not have been in the mood for any "horse laughs." Their occupation's gone. At least, their friends were not in evidence last night, for those interested throngs had gathered to worship at the shrine of the limousine and the coupe, the runabout and the chassis, the town car and the tourabout, even the elephantine commercial trucks.
No, it was not a horse crowd that filled Convention hall last night and if there were any horses in the vicinity they were the patient draught animals outside in the alley that had hauled accessories, exhibits and other loads of material to make up the "side lines" at the big show. That was "rubbing it in" just a little, and the more sensitive of the horses might have been pardoned for imagining that there was a note of derision in the occasional "honk! honk" t hat resounded throughout the hall.
It was really an impressive scene that greets the spectator as he enters the arena at the southern end of Convention hall. Far at the other end of the hall he sees, in a delightful perceptive, a fairy grotto rising in tiers seemingly to the roof. That beautiful feature is the Japanese tea garden, one of the most effective pictures in the whole show so far as decorativeness is concerned. Above the spectator's head he hears the inspiring music of the Berry Military band.
By the time the spectator has taken in the general effect, he is ready for details. As he threads his way amid this orderly maze of about 175 cars of forty different makes, he realizes to some degree at least the extent of the automobile industry, the reason for the firm grip which the "buzz wagons" has on the pocketbooks of the people of the United States -- and why Kansas City sold something like $10,000,000 worth of automobiles last year.
The green hedge divides the central space of the arena into two sections, taken up with the exhibits of six local agencies. A wide walk runs entirely around this central space and between this walk and the arena boxes are other spaces filled with immense varied and complete exhibits, beginning with the Studebaker lines at the right, next to the arena entrance and ending with the big Ford display on the left, after the circuit of the hall has been completed, during which the exhaustive displays of Maxwells, Marmons, Reos, Detroit electrics, Hupmobiles, Regals, Mitchells, Stoddard-Daytons and other lines carried by the McGee-Huckell Company have been included.
While the interior decorations this year are more cleverly done than ever before, the other parts of the hall have not been overlooked. As there are automobiles, touring cars, runabouts, electrics, and trucks on every inch of available floor space, pretty decorations have to go with them.
The entire arcade is crowded with displays and some of the best exhibits of the entire show have been placed here, for the arena floor is by no means all there is to Convention hall for exhibition purposes. The big Columbus-Firestone, Standard Six and Hupmobile exhibits are in this section of the building. Every nook and cranny of the balcony is taken up with accessories exhibits and it will require more than one visit to exhaust the treasures of this big carnival of automobiles.