Friday, May 31

Henry Wells' Joyride

Image = eyewitness to History
By Art Cashin

On this day in 1896, a man named Henry Wells of Springfield, Mass. decided to show the folks of New York City just what a clever fellow they had the luxury to see among them. (Wells may not have realized that the streets of New York are littered with the bones of folks who proposed to show the same thing.)
Wells left his digs in his new and expensive "Duryea Motor Wagon." (You will recall that the giddy Duryea brothers had invented something called the automobile in an earlier episode.)

Anyway, Wells was powering uptown (balloon horn a' honk) at maybe an amazing 18 MPH. Suddenly in his path was a Ms. Evelyn Thomas, astride her recklessly ridden bicycle. Unfortunately, for Wells there were two Irish cops at that corner. Given a Gaelic sense of justice they determined that right was weight or maybe inversely. (If you're not a Gael perhaps that may seem confusing.)

Nonetheless, the boys figured the car was bigger than the bike and thus it was not a fair fight. So they put Wells in jail overnight and sent Ms. Thomas to Manhattan Hospital to assess her life threatening injuries (a fractured leg).

After shaking Wells loose of some excess weight in his wallet (fines, legal fees, municipal scams), the authorities released him. It is assumed he returned north and lived out his days in one of those burgs where life is played at AAA level.

To celebrate take someone for a joyride. But recall that DWI tests aren't always administered by guys who try to match their cultural heritage with your blood/proof level.

Many thanks to Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services who graciously allow his historical musings to be republished on this site. To enjoy more of Art's posts simply click on "Cashin's Comments" in the label section on the sidebar.

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