Since Henry Ford had no shortage of Model Ts at his disposal, the four men toured the country with as many as 50 automobiles! Edison and Ford pretended they were roughing, but the trips almost always included an elaborate entourage, stops in nice hotels, and more to soften the blow. Photo courtesy of … Family did sometimes come along for the ride but the trips almost always included tire manufacturer Harvey Firestone and naturalist John Burroughs. And, together, the brilliant best friends also invented the great They called themselves the Four Vagabonds. photograph by THE COLLECTIONS OF THE HENRY FORD “It often seemed to me,” Burroughs later wrote, “that we were a luxuriously equipped expedition going forth seeking discomfort.” Ford, Edison, Firestone, and Burroughs would ride in one car, while a long motorcade trailed behind, carrying their servants and entourage. In The Vagabonds Jeff Guinn shares the story of this pivotal moment in American history. Henry Ford invented the affordable automobile. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. The Vagabonds is “a portrait of America’s burgeoning love affair with the automobile” (NPR) but it also sheds light on the important relationship between the older Edison and the younger Ford, who once worked for the famous inventor. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs, referred to themselves as the “Four Vagabonds” and their annual gatherings received public attention by curiosity seekers who wanted to observe and hopefully meet these celebrities of … A few Mocksville residents witnessed the brief stop of several august visitors to town on August 29, 1918. But he also examines the important relationship between the older Edison and the younger Ford, who once worked for the famous inventor. Despite their humble moniker, the Vagabonds certainly knew how to travel in style. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone pulled into the square and asked for a drink of water, which residents obtained from the well. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Fires-tone, and John Burroughs, who called themselves the “Four Vagabonds”, embarked on a series of "Four Vagabonds" by Bill Ramsey Bruceton Mills, West Virginia 1921 - Camping with the President The third in a series of articles about the legendary excursions and summer tours of the “Four Vagabonds”. The Vagabonds End Their Two Week Vacation in Western Maryland. Friends Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, President Warren G. Harding and Harvey Firestone pictured on a camping trip that the four took together in Maryland with members of their families. A plaque memorializes the famous vagabond campers at Camp Harding County Park. They passed through Mocksville and Winston-Salem on their way to Virginia. Between 1916 and 1924, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs embarked on a series of annual camping trips. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs, referred to themselves as the “Four Vagabonds” and their annual gatherings received public attention and curiosity seekers who wanted to observe and hopefully meet these celebrities of the 20th Century. By Francis Champ Zumbrun. The road trips made the automobile ubiquitous and magnified Ford’s reputation, even as Edison’s diminished. The Four Vagabonds often went on fishing and camping trips together. This image shows the Vagabonds (minus Burroughs) with President Warren Harding, who joined them in 1921. They called themselves the Four Vagabonds. The Vagabonds in western North Carolina on their camping trip in 1918: (from left) Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, John Burroughs, and Harvey Firestone. 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