Harry Oscar

Title

Harry Oscar "H.O." Bell Interview, April 26, 1966

Interviewee

Harry Oscar Bell

Interviewer

K. Ross Toole and Pat Morris

Files

Download Transcript of H.O. Bell Interview, April 26, 1966 (766 KB)

Description

Harry Oscar “H.O.” Bell describes working as a mechanic and race car driver in Indianapolis, Indiana, before moving to Spokane, Washington, where he opened Rose’s Automobile Company, the town’s first automobile garage, in 1906. He talks about moving to Missoula, Montana, in 1912 to open the first auto business there, providing service as a mechanic and selling Ford Model-Ts. Bell explains the mechanics of early automobiles as well as the dangers of early driving, including the volatility of gas and lack of battery powered lights. He describes how he helped invent a lead plug for a gas tank to remedy the issue of gas exploding, and he recalls the institution of the “7 percent system of highways” in 1926, due to the rising popularity of automobiles and the need for paved roads. Bell also describes how the Great Depression affected his business.

Type

Oral History

Subjects

Spokane, Washington; Indianapolis, Indiana; Auto mechanics; Automobile garages; Auto dealers; Road construction; Lead plug; Rose’s Automobile Company; Ford Model-T; Ford Model-A; Great Depression (1929-1939)

Original Date

4-26-1966

Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage

Montana

Language

eng

Original Collection

Harry Oscar “H.O.” Bell Interviews Oral History Project, OH 024, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library

Rights

Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 024-002

Media Type

Text

Original Format

1 reel-to-reel analog + 1 transcript (26 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

application/pdf

Local Filename

OH_024_002.pdf

Harry Oscar

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