Driving it

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Made in New Jersey
Automakers in the Garden State


[see large picture]

Just as interesting as this Trenton-made Mercer Tonneau is who's driving it—a woman. In the early 20th century (when she posed in her car), American society considered females too "weak" and "flighty" to manage "big, powerful" automobiles. Only after World War I, when women proved they could drive under any conditions, did they begin to adapt driving to their domestic roles.

Photograph, Mercer Tonneau, about 1910
Collections of The New Jersey Historical Society, gift of New Jersey Business
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