Thomas Wilby And Jack Haney

August 27, 2012 by  

Thomas Wilby And Jack Haney, Thomas Wilby was born in 1867 in Norwich, England, and began his journalism career in England. He moved to the United States in 1908 and began writing travel features for magazines.

The trip of the All-Red Route Reo was Wilby’s second cross-country trip. Earlier, he had convinced the office of Public Roads in Washington to send him on a trip across the U.S. and back, which he turned into a book called “On the Trail to Sunset.” That trip took 105 days, covered 14,400 kilometres and included stops in New York City, Niagara Falls, N.Y., Chicago, Omaha, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Grand Canyon, Sante Fe, Dodge City, St. Louis and Washington.

After his cross-Canada trip Wilby wrote “A Motor Tour Through Canada” and then went on to work at the Christian Science Monitor in Boston as an editorial writer. During a year-long trip around the Mediterranean and England with his wife, he took ill and went to the health spa in Bath, England, to recuperate. He died in November, 1923.

F.V. “Jack” Haney was born in 1889 in Huntington, Indiana. As a boy he was keenly interested in machines, motor boats, and especially cars. At 16, he left home to move to Lansing, Michigan to work for the Reo Motorcar Company. He soon gained a reputation as an excellent mechanic and in 1910 he moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, to work as a trouble shooter for the Canadian Reo factory. He travelled through much of Canada fixing and testing Reo motorcars. When the Reo Special was being prepared for the first trans-Canada Auto trip, Haney was the obvious choice as driver/mechanic.

After the trip he returned to work for the Reo Motorcar Company. He married in 1914 and eventually opened his own garage in St. Catharines. He continued to work with cars and in his later years helped to open Niagara’s first airport. He died in 1935 after several years of illness due to heart problems.

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