Sunday, March 19, 2023

Treasure Chest Sunday - H.A. Carringer's 1921 Automobile Registration

 This is a special Treasure Chest post.  I couldn't wait until Thursday!

I read a Facebook post by Melody Lassalle that discussed the California Automobile Registration database available on the Internet Archive.  The database is for the years 1917 to 1922, and the registrations are listed by registration number for the entire state.

I knew that my great-grandfather, Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946) had a Model T Ford automobile in the early 1920s in San Diego, but I didn't know which year or model.  

It was difficult to figure out how to find the database and to search it by name.  I finally resorted to searching for it on Google.  That worked for 1919, 1920 and 1921, but not 1917 and 1918.  Link for 1921 is .  Search with the search icon on left.

H.A. Carringer was the only Carringer person in the 1921 database:

This record appears on page n307 of the 1921 database (image 808 of 1124).

The extracted data for the H.A. Carringer entry is:

  • Registration number:  372292
  • Name of registrant:  H.A. Carringer
  • Address:  2104 30th st San Diego
  • Make of Automobile:  Ford
  • Type of Automobile:  Tour[ing?]
  • Year of Automobile:  [19]14
  • Engine number:  411644

A source citation for this record is:

"California Automobile Registrations, 1917-1922," indexed database with record images, Internet Archive ( : accessed 17 March 2023), 1921, Volume VII, page n307 (image 808 of 1124), Registration #372292, H.A. Carringer entry, 1914 Ford, Touring, Engine number 411644; original data in California Motor Vehicle Department (Sacramento, Calif.), digitized by California Digital Library, Americana collection.

I wanted to know what this 1914 Model T Ford Touring car might look like, and cost, so I found an image of this automobile online on the Swope Cars of Yesteryear Museum web page:

Here is one of the photos of this automobile:

It's a convertible!!!  With a mechanical top for cold, wind, and precipitation issues..

Information about the automobile includes:

  • Four cylinder, 22 horsepower, original cost $550. Top speed 45 miles per hour. Gas mileage 15 to 21 MPG. Gasoline costs 12 to 15 cents a gallon.
  • The first “Wide Track.” This Ford was known as the “southern Model T”, with 60” wide axles. The extended axle width was because of wagon rut in the south were wider than those in the north.
  • Between 1909 and 1927, Ford build 15,000,000 Model T Cars.
  • Henry Ford’s imitation of mass production methods on a moving assembly line led to lower car prices.
  • It also led to the $5.00 work day. People came from Kentucky and all over the south to work in the Ford Assembly Plant and earn the handsome wage of $5.00 a day!
  • In 1914, Ford with 13,000 employees produced 300,000 cars.
My grandfather, Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976) was very good with mechanical things, and I'm sure he drove this car all around San Diego.  He probably impressed his wife-to-be, Emily Kemp Auble (1999-1977), with the car and his driving prowess while they were dating (who knows what secrets the back seat held?).  

Thank you to Melody for mentioning this on Facebook!  This was the best Genealogy Fun I've had all day!


Copyright (c) 2023, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Nancy said...

Oh, Randy, this is such a special treasure! And to have discovered a car with all the details makes it even better!
I have hoped for years that Ohio would somehow produce auto registrations for the 1900s but they tell me they don't have them. Lucky youi!!!