My Edmonds News is proud to present a monthly look at Edmonds history, straight from the archives of the Edmonds Historical Museum. For the month of August, we’ll revisit 1915.
In 1915, the Ford Auto Company in Detroit announced that it sold 300,000 automobiles during the previous year. An article published in Edmonds’ The Tribune-Review at that time, demonstrated the sheer volume of these vehicles by northwest standards.
“Take the 300,000 machines sold by the Ford plant, each machine 11 feet in length standing in a straight line end to end we would have a line of autos 3,300,000 feet in length, and dividing this sum by 5,280, the number of feet in a mile, and you have a line of autos 643 miles in length, or a line that would reach from Edmonds to Spokane and return, and have enough left over to reach from Seattle to the Canadian line and return and still have a mere bagatelle of 43 miles of autos left over, and all those were sold and delivered by one firm between August 1, 1914, and August 1, 1915.”
These numbers must have been staggering to Edmonds, whose first full-time automobile agency, Yost Auto Company, opened its doors in March 1914. While several other garages existed in Edmonds, the Yost garage, run by George, Samuel and Jacob Yost, was among the first Ford dealers in the area, selling “the celebrated little Ford car.” They later sold Buicks as well. The agency, located at Fifth and Dayton, was a fixture in downtown Edmonds for many decades.
As the automobile was transforming communities like Edmonds, the 1915 article closed by praising Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company: “For years, possibly since Henry VIII, who did nothing worth mentioning except provide himself a number of wives, the name ‘Henry’ has not been in the best repute, but since Henry the Ford has loomed up we expect to hear of the next generation, all the boys named Henry and all the girls named Ford.”