Feb 06 2014

Mystery Foto #54 Solved: Officials of the 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes

This week's Mystery Friday Foto was looking for details on the historic photo of Herb Lytle winning the 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes.

Mystery Foto Questions:

-Identify as many people as possible in the photo.

100% Identified

-William K. Vanderbilt Jr.

-Jefferson DeMont Thompson

-Fred Wagner


80% Probability

-Frederick H. Elliott

-Frank G. Webb


Everyone else is still open for further research including Lytle's mechanician.

Super congrats to Ted for correctly identifying three of the 100% officials! Congrats to Art Kleiner and Ariejan Bos  for correctly identifying a group of race officials.

The commenting feature on the website is still being upgraded. As an option, please send your comment directly to Howard@Kroplick.com .


Howard Kroplick

Officials for the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Referee William K. Vanderbilt Jr.

Secretary Frederick H. Elliott

Vice-Chairman Frank G. Webb

Starter and Clerk of the Course Fred Wagner

Driver Herb Lytle

Submission from Art Kleiner

Art Kleiner: I've attached a NY TImes clipping of Oct. 11, 1908 of people that attended the Motor Parkway Sweepstakes that most likely would have been at the finish or in the grandstand, including:

Harry Payne Whitney, wife and children
Clifford V. Brokaw, owner of the winning Isotta
Truman Newberry, Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Oliver W. Bird
Colgate Hoyt, Ex-Pres. of the ACA
Many others are mentioned in the clipping


Feb 16 2014 Howard Kroplick 5:42 PM

Ted 2:41 PM

Well, here goes nothing. I have 4 people that I can name. ! The starter Fred Wagner 2 the one and only William K Vanderbilt Jr.3 ACA Chairman Robert Morrell 4 AAA Counterpart Jefferson De Mont Thompson
Feb 10 2014

From Ariejan Bos

My attempt to solve at least part of the latest Friday mystery:
Lots of moustaches, lots of guesses. But anyway I’ll make a try. We see of course Herb Lytle, driver of the Isotta. Was Jack Tattersall still his mechanician? Then of course W.K. Vanderbilt in the foreground, behind him with the big moustache Jefferson DeMont Thompson (chairman of the Vanderbilt Cup Commission). I have the impression that the man directly on Thompson’s left is F.H. Elliott, secretary of the Commission. Then it could be that the man somewhat further towards Elliotts left side (in the light rain coat) is Frank G. Webb, vice-chairman of the Commission. The man with the megaphone seems to be Fred Wagner and the man with the checquered flag: Joe Tracy??

From Art Kleiner

Hi Howard - very good presentation on Sunday.  Great turn out and was glad to contribute to the Roslyn Historical Society.  Also looking forward to reading the new book!

Here are some people in Mystery Photo 54: (some I’m positive of, others not entirely sure)

Besides Herb Lytle:
His mechanician, Fehr
William K. Vanderbilt Jr.
Starter Fred Wagner
A.R. Pardington
Robert Graves
Jefferson DeMont Thompson, AAA Chairman
Robert Morrell, ACA Chairman ???
Sam Butler, ACA Secretary ???
Charles Dieges, Timing Expert ???
Hank Caldwell, Official ???
A.B. Tucker, Official ???
Robert P. Hooper ???

From Sam Berliner III,

Ye cats and little (Lytle?) fishes, Howard!

Did you SEE who is the Commander of the Federation of American Motor Cyclsts, providing courier service?

None other than one E. L. Ovington - how about that being Earle Lewis Ovington, famed flyer who flew the first official U. S. airmail in 1911 from Garden City to MIneiola!

Louis N. Lanehart, M. D., was the course physician (“Chief Surgeon”) for 1906, NOT Dr. William Jackson Malcolm.

Dang!  Your mystery photo #53, which I know like the back of my hand, eluded my notice!  No wonder!  It only just came in now, with the other post.

By the way, dare I question you, le Mâitre?  I durst!  In your Krug’s Corner film, isn’t the 1906 photo at 1:58 of Willie “attempting to clear the course” actually the scene as he rushed the Lanehart to the fatal accident?
Feb 12 2014 Ted 10:35 PM

I was really surprised that I got all three officials right. I was positive that Willy K was right, but wasn’t very sure about the other two. Thanks for the super congrats, that’s a first

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