clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

History Lesson: "Vampire Autos"

WBEZ is revisiting the civic wonders of 1923, chiefly "vampire autos". Why we ever abandoned such an awesome euphamysm for hit-and-run is beyond us. Borne of the violence and suddenness of hit-and-run (leaving unwitting victims in a pool of blood), the vampire auto was on a rampage in Chicago and around the country. In the 20s, the auto industry was enjoying its first widespread boom, but cities were still havens for pedestrians with broad sidewalks and slower (but still dangerous) mixed road traffic. People hadn't yet trained themselves to look for speeding cars before weaving into the street. The consequences were frequently fatal: On Jan. 17, 1923, four pedestrians were killed by vampire autos, the next day, another three. [WBEZ]