In the spring of 1903, on a whim and a fifty-dollar bet, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson set off from San Francisco in a 20-horsepower Winton touring car hoping to become the first person to cross the United States in the new-fangled “horseless carriage.” At the time there were only 150 miles of paved roads in the entire country, all of them within city limits. There were no gas stations and virtually no road maps as we know them today. Most people doubted that the automobile had much of a future. Jackson’s trip would dramatically change that perception.
Horatio’s Drive tells the story of America’s first transcontinental road trip, which, like all road trips that would follow, included the usual mix of breakdowns and flat tires, inedible meals and uncomfortable beds, getting lost and enduring bad weather – and having a truly unforgettable experience crossing the nation’s vast landscape. Throughout it all, Jackson’s indomitable spirit and sheer enthusiasm would prove to be as indispensable as the fuel for his car.
A Film Directed By
Voice of Horatio Nelson Jackson
Funding Provided By
General Motors Corporation
Public Broadcasting Service
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
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Original Broadcast September 2003
• Telluride Film Festival, 2003
• Audio Book of the Year, 2003, from Audio File Magazine
• Cine Golden Eagle Award, 2003
• Christopher Award, 2004