Driven

In an age when driving is the next frontier, a 22-year-old mother tries to become the first woman to drive cross-country. Riding into mysterious pre-highway terrain, she rewrites history and faces betrayal closer than she ever imagined.

Gabriella Gage
Jun 11 · 34 min read
Alice Ramsey with her first Maxwell 1908 and driving gear (Courtesy ofArchives and Special Collections, Vassar College Library)
Listen to the audio version of this story from Audm.
Alice Ramsey (center car) and Maxwells competing in Montauk Point Endurance Contest 1908 (Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Vassar College Library)
L-R: Alice makes headline as a teen; Wedding photo, c. 1906 (Courtesy ofArchives and Special Collections, Vassar College); LA Times reporting on the start of the cross-country journey.

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L-R: Hermine Jahns, Nettie Powell, Maggie Atwood, and Alice Ramsey pose in the rain in front of the Maxwell-Briscoe showroom, 1930 Broadway at the start of their historic journey, June 9, 1909 (Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Vassar College Library)
Handwritten partial map of the route (Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Vassar College Library)
Alice changing tire (Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Vassar College Library)
The Maxwell stuck in a “chuckhole” about to be towed in Iowa (Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Vassar College Library)
John D. Murphy, Maxwell’s hired advance agent (Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Vassar College Library)

Like stories about misfits and rascals who turn the tables on those in charge? Check out this real-life Catch-22!


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Truly*Adventurous

Truly*Adventurous is a media company conceived in a spirit of adventure and built with reckless faith in the power of punch-’em-in-the-teeth longform storytelling. We commission original true stories from the world’s best nonfiction artists.

Gabriella Gage

Written by

Writer. Journalist. Editor. Donut Historian. Victorian Muppet. Townie. 2019 James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence. Former Writers’ Room of Boston Fellow.

Truly*Adventurous

Truly*Adventurous is a media company conceived in a spirit of adventure and built with reckless faith in the power of punch-’em-in-the-teeth longform storytelling. We commission original true stories from the world’s best nonfiction artists.