Aug 07 2010

The Curious Map Scoreboard at the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race

No one had the correct answer to last week's Mystery Photo Contest #5. The answer is the map scoreboard was used for the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race... a first time feature for the Vanderbilt Cup Races that was never repeated. Click on the images to enlarge.


The green map scoreboard was located over the back of the grandstand in front of the officials/press box. The grandstand was located on the south side of Jericho Turnpike in Westbury.


This photo shows tha location of the map scoreboard in comparison to the starting line. As seen here, the the eventual winner #10 Darracq was ready to start its run, followed by the #12 Itala.


Willie K's wife, "Birdie" Vanderbilt, can be seen in the first row wearing a white dress and black hat with a veil.



The map scoreboard included a schematic of the 1906 course with color-coded icons of race cars to indicate where the cars were on the course as the race progressed. The map was a real curiosity in that it was printed backward, as a comparison with the the course map proves. For example, East Norwich, located on the east section of the course, was shown on the west side of the map. It must have been very confusing for the spectators.


The icons were moved around the map on wooden pegs and were color coded for the manufacturer's country- red for USA, blue for France, white for Germany and yellow for Italy.


The scoreboard also listed the top three leaders. During lap 8, the #10 Darracq driving by Louis Wagner was first, followed by the #4 FIAT driven by Vincenzo Lancia and the #3 Mercedes driven by Camille Jenatzy


The map scoreboard was updated throughout the race using a telephone network set up around the course.

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Aug 08 2010 Bob Thomas 5:42 PM

Apparently the scoreboard was intended to be mounted on the opposite side of the course. It would then be correct, and also visible from the grandstand without turning around to see it.
Nice touch, though.

Apr 03 2011 Howard Kroplick 7:56 AM

Hi Bob:

That is correct… if the course outline was printed exactly the same on both sides of the sheet.


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