Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Female driver

sorry! one day too late. but finally, one more grave from the sleepy hollow cemetery. right next to a bush, are walter and anne bush buried (did they plant the bush on purpose? i thought it very funny, i hope it was on purpose.. :) ). anne was the first woman in the united states to receive a driver's license! i had no clue someone had this honorable title, and i also did not know she was buried in concord, but it was on the cemetery-overview of notable people buried there. of course we had to check out her grave when we saw "mrs walter bush, first woman with a drivers license". when walking to her grave we were joking a little; ah, probably she got her license because they thought she was a man,which woman is called walter bush?! but then we realized that this is how married women are called "mrs. theirbusband'sfirstandlastname". beeghh! she was the first woman with a drivers license, can she please be addressed by her own name?! we also wondered what her grave would look like. would the stone be in the form of a car? would it somewhere say she was the first (auto)mobile lady? i didnt expect that, but indeed it did, perhaps its not very legible on this pic, but here you can clearly see it! (im just wondering who put it there? her family? upon her request.. or?). 
anyways. anne french grew up in washington. her father, a physician, had a steam drive car that he maintained himself. he promised his daughter she got to drive it if she knew how to maintain it as well. and so she did. in 1900 she obtained her license, allowing her to operate a "four-wheeled vehicle powered by steam or gas." then she married walter bush and he took over the wheel. nope, no more driving for her. she later mentioned in an interview that he found that "driving is man’s business. women shouldn’t get soiled by machinery.” and even though she now and then reminded him she was the first woman with a license.. she remained in the passenger's seat. i myself still cannot drive. and tim is very annoyed about that. by now i cannot count the lectures anymore when he tells me how beneficial it would be, for the both of us, but especially for me, if i knew how to drive (i do prefer that over walter bush's view...)
one more cute thing i found: in 1952, the american automobile association (AAA) celebrated their 50th birthday. they tracked down anne and invited her to the celebrations. she had tea with the then-president's wife and did something she apparently always had wanted to do; she got to drive a fire engine!! all that just surprises me that she just let her husband do all the driving once she was married. perhaps she was afraid of what her mother once said to her, before marriage; “no gentleman would be interested in any lady who didn’t stay where she belonged and act like one", in reaction to her daughter driving a car....
theres so much more i wanted to write, regarding cars and women and what-not. but i leave it at this. maybe some other time! here some more photos from the sleepy hollow cemetery.
and go here for all the other taphophiles!