Monday, July 4, 2011

A Grim Safety Reminder From the Days of Interurbans

Local archivist and historian Dennis Lamont sent me this great vintage safety advertisement. It's sort of an earlier version of the Grim Reaper-themed ad that I posted yesterday.

In the illustration, Death beckons the driver of a car (with Ohio license plates) to carelessly cross the tracks while an interurban approaches.

As Dennis, one of the authors of the Arcadia Publishing book Lake Shore Electric Railway ( a terrific book, by the way) pointed out to me, note that there are no crossing gates or flashing safety lights. I guess that's why there were so many terrible accidents involving interurbans in the early days of motoring. Fortunately undercuts became a priority to eliminate some of the more dangerous crossings.

Death seems to be especially diabolical in this case, flagging the car forward – while the occupants of the car don't seem to be speeding or doing anything reckless. I guess that's the message: Death is always lurking about if you aren't careful!

Here's hoping that you have a safe and happy July Fourth!

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