January 13, 1906 – The first AMCMA show

Founded just weeks prior, the American Motor Car Manufacturers’ Association held its first auto show on this day in 1906 to build public interest in the new type of transportation. The doors of the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City swung open, allowing people a peek at many vehicles being produced in America. The association, made up of mostly of motor car builders and executives, strived to become a leading factor in the early development of the automobile by driving up public awareness. Another early task the association took on was developing a list of all automobile dealers and garages in the United States, thus helping automakers figure out exactly who is selling their cars and where. By 1910 the AMCMA show moved to the Grand Central Palace in New York and featured 79 manufacturers from the US and abroad, as well as hundreds more exhibitors of parts and accessories. Among them were Ford, Firestone, Oakland Motor Co, Moon Motor Car Co. and Pierce Motor Co. The 1910 show came about during a time when automobile prices were beginning to rise. Chairman of the AMCMA, H.O. Smith, acknowledged that the rising prices were necessary to to the increasing cost of the goods needed to produce automobiles. “It is not at all likely that there will be any sensational rise in prices, but we look for a general slight increase to offset these items representing increased cost,” he said in 1909. These images, taken from “The Motor World, Volume 21,” printed in 1909, illustrate the anticipated Grand Central Palace Show that took place from December 31, 1909 to January 7, 1910. The first image shows the interior of the Grand palace, the second is an ad for the show and the third shows the layout of one area of the show.

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