1920s Auto Races, Rockville Fair
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.
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.
Below is a 1923 Washington Post ad for auto race at the 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
I love seeing these photos Jeanne, very cool stuff! It’s wonderful that you can share your father’s historic photography with us.
Hi Lori, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to post your comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the old photos. One of the things I enjoy doing is looking through all of the old photographs and trying to figure what they are. Most of them are more than 100 years old.
But one thing I know is that while I’m grateful that my family hung on to these old photos, I wish they’d taken the time to give them them better labels!